While neither party has settled on a nominee, and with the Republican nomination process still very much in the air, Israelis are certain about one thing – the next President of the United States cannot be worse than Barack Obama.
According to a TNS Teleseker poll publicized on Sunday, Israelis are generally optimistic that President Obama’s successor will be better for Israel than the incumbent, whose pursuit of the Iran nuclear deal and diplomatic dust-ups with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have negatively impacted the president’s approval rating among Israelis.
The poll shows that 51% of Israelis believe, regardless of who is elected in November, that the next president will be better for Israel than Obama, compared to only 8% who feel the next president will be worse. More than a quarter (26%) believed there would be no difference, and 15% had no response.
Interestingly, regarding the two leading frontrunners – former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Manhattan real estate mogul Donald Trump – Israelis had mixed responses.
Israelis were marginally more likely to believe that Clinton would be better for Israel as president than Trump by a margin of 42% to 34%
At the same time, however, Israelis were more likely to believe that relations between the Israeli government and the White House would be better with a Trump presidency, with 42% responding that Trump was more likely to have good relations with the Israeli Prime Minister, compared to only 32% who said the same regarding Clinton.
In favorability ratings, however, Clinton led Trump by a wide margin among Israelis, with 68% saying they viewed the Democratic frontrunner positively, compared to only 43% who had a favorable opinion of Trump. Trump’s negatives were also far higher than Clinton's, with 37% saying they viewed the New York billionaire unfavorably, compared to only 14% who had a negative opinion of Clinton.