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'Israel Gap' Growing between U.S. Parties

Republican support for Israel is 25 points higher than in Democratic Party, where only 53%, sympathize with Israel.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/18/2012, 7:54 PM

U.S. flag in Alaska
U.S. flag in Alaska
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) today released an analysis of support for Israel broken down by political affiliation that reveals a clear "Israel Gap" between the parties. Republican support for Israel is 25 points higher than Democratic support, and according to Gallup, only 53% of Democrats, a bare majority, express sympathy with Israel.

"Democrats are suffering from an 'Israel Gap' and it's gotten worse under President Obama," said Matthew Brooks, RJC executive director.

Gallup, in a poll released recently, asked American voters, "Are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?" An overwhelming 78% of Republicans chose Israel, with 21% choosing the Palestinians or both/neither/no opinion. Among Democrats, a bare majority of 53% chose Israel, with 47% choosing otherwise. Among Independents, support for Israel was at 56% with 44% choosing otherwise.

Over the last dozen years of Gallup polling on this question, there has been a clear trend: Republican support for Israel has risen steadily, moving from 60% to a high of 85%, while Democrat support has been relatively flat, at around 50%. Independent support has also moved upward over time, from 42% to a high of 60%.

Gallup's data over time shows a clear difference between Republicans and Democrats on Israel, with strong and increasing support for the Jewish state among Republicans, and lower, relatively unchanged support among Democrats.

"This unmistakable trend should be a wake-up call to Jewish Democratic leaders and those who care about Israel, indicating that significant efforts should be made to rebuild strong support for Israel in the Democratic Party," the RJC said.