Poll: Large Majority of US Voters Think Obama Should be Stronger Supporter of Israel
Americans believe by an overwhelming majority that U.S. President Barack Obama should be a better friend to Israel, a poll of voters by Quinnipiac University revealed on Monday.
When asked, “Do you think the President of the United States should be a stronger supporter of Israel or not,” 67% said yes. Twenty percent replied no, and 13% said they were undecided.
But, only 38% of respondents said they felt Obama actually was a strong supporter of Israel. Forty-eight percent said he was not, while 15% said they did not know.
The divide was clear along party lines, as 83% of Republicans said they felt Obama was not a strong supporter of the Jewish state, while 65% of Democrats said they felt he was.
Voters aged 55 and up were also less likely to believe Obama was a strong Israel supporter, with 56% saying no.
The poll also showed that most people disapproved of Obama’s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian “situation.”
Near the start of Obama’s second term, Secretary of State John Kerry launched a nine-month push in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which were ultimately followed by a 50-day war between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip last summer.
Only 31% of voters approved of Obama’s handling of the situation, while 55% disapproved. Among nine categories of voters, only Democrats (59%) approved by a majority the way the Obama administration has dealt with the conflict.
And on Iran, the numbers were quite similar, with 52% of voters disapproving of the way Obama has handled negotiations with Iran over its nuclear ambitions.
But despite disapproval of Obama’s handling of Iran, 58% said they supported the recent framework agreement that was announced by the negotiators in Switzerland, in which sanctions would be lifted in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program. More than a third of Republican voters even supported a deal in that language.
This perhaps reflects the 77% of voters that supported a negotiated settlement to the Iranian issue over military intervention (13%).
The most recent Gallup poll put Obama’s overall approval rating at 48%.