Daily Israel Report

Poll: Across the Board, Americans Support Israel

Fully 66% of American voters - Democrats, Republicans and others - believe that the US should support Israel over the Palestinian Authority.
By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
First Publish: 11/17/2008, 11:00 PM

According to poll data released on Sunday, fully 66 percent of American voters - Democrats, Republicans and others - believe that the United States should support Israel over the Palestinian Authority. Seventy-two percent
Fifty-seven percent said they considered themselves to be an "Israel supporter."
believe that the US should continue efforts to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

The bi-partisan poll of US voters, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and commissioned by The Israel Project, further showed only six percent agreement with an American policy favoring the PA. In contrast, 71 percent of respondents contacted in 2003 supported a neutral policy between Israel and the PA or were undecided, and that figure has steadily shrunk to its current level of 12 percent. American voter support for a policy favoring the PA has never reached above 11 percent in the past six years (in 2005).

Interestingly, while generally supporting a pro-Israel foreign policy, Americans identify themselves as 37 percent undecided or neutral in their support for Israel or the PA. Fifty-seven percent said they considered themselves to be an "Israel supporter," as opposed to six percent who identified as a "Palestinian supporter."

Republicans and John McCain voters showed a greater tendency to support a pro-Israel foreign policy. However, backing for that position cut across party lines and presidential candidate support, with 55 percent of Barack Obama voters and 59 percent of Democrats overall.

On the question of personal views of Israel, the religious breakdown showed that 76 percent of those identifying themselves as "religious conservatives" supported Israel (56 percent of them saying they were "strong supporters"). Support for the PA did not rise above nine percent in any major religious sector, as broken down by the pollsters (with all non-Christians lumped together as "Other").

Even in the context of "all the problems America now faces at home," 58 percent of voters agree "America needs to stand with Israel" over the statement "Israel needs to take care of itself." Only 19 percent of American voters believe that the issue of "making peace between Israel and the Palestinians" should be a top priority for the new US administration.

Iran: A Grave Threat
Seventy-two percent of voting Americans across the political spectrum believe "even with all the problems that America faces at home now, we must still work hard to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons." Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of voters are more concerned about Iran based on what they have seen, read or heard recently in the news.

Stanley Greenberg, PhD of GQRR commented, "Voters supporting Obama as well as McCain all find Iran with nuclear weapons to be a grave threat to the US and feel the need to work hard to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons."

One of the greatest threats posed by a nuclear-armed Iran, according to 60 percent of those polled, was the
The second most cited reason for fearing a nuclear Iran was that Iran posed a direct threat to the US.
likelihood that Iran would arm terrorists with the nuclear bombs for use against the US or within the Middle East. The second most cited reason for fearing a nuclear Iran was that Iran posed a direct threat to the US.

Anti-Semitism, Out
Faced with the statement, "While nobody will say it out loud, there is much evidence that Jews control the world's financial institutions," 73 percent of American voters disagreed (46 percent strongly so). Eighty-seven percent of respondents disagreed with the claim that "Jews have too much power in politics and the economy and are to blame for the current financial crisis facing America and the rest of the world."

Similar results were obtained when "Israel" replaced "Jews" in the foregoing survey questions.

This survey was conducted on US Election Day, November 4, 2008 among 800 actual voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.46 percent. Historical trend data is from surveys conducted by both POS and GQRR, and includes interviews among adults, registered voters, likely voters, and opinion elites.

The Israel Project, unrelated with any government or government agency, is an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace.