The Partisan Gap in Support for Israel Seems Permanent
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The Partisan Gap in Support for Israel Seems Permanent

Polls taken in 2021 and 2022 show a significant gap between Republicans and Democrats in their levels of support for Israel and for the Palestinians.

In late May, the Pew Research Center reported again on support for Israel in the United States and once again found a significant partisan gap.

The report, which can be read here, states that “Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to view the Israeli people favorably and the Palestinian people unfavorably (44% vs. 12%).” Pew also found that “Republicans and those who lean to the GOP are much more likely to express a favorable view of the Israeli people (78%) than of the Palestinian people (37%). Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, on the other hand, similar shares express favorable views toward both groups (60% and 64%, respectively).”

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That latter finding is striking: more Democrats and those who lean Democratic express a favorable view of Palestinians than of Israelis.

Other polls have found the same thing. A May 2021 Economist/YouGov poll by Kathy Frankovic found this:

[A]lthough 22% of Democrats regard protecting Israel as "very important” U.S. goal overall, fully 61% of Republicans do so. In the longstanding conflict between Israel and the Palestinians….Three in five Republicans (61%) say their sympathies lie with Israel, while Democrats are more likely to say they sympathize with both sides (35%) than support either Israel (16%) or the Palestinians (23%). Only 5% of Republicans say their sympathies lie more with the Palestinians.

A separate May 2021 poll by Quinnipiac College asked “From what you know about the situation in the Middle East, do your sympathies lie more with Israelis or more with the Palestinians?” The poll found that among Republicans, 74 percent said their sympathy lay with Israelis and only 8 percent with the Palestinians. But among Democrats, 43 percent said Palestinians and only 22 percent with Israelis.

This is a change over time, as the Washington Post reported about a February 2021 poll by Gallup:

A decade ago, by margins of about 2-to-1, Democrats said their sympathies were more with Israelis than with Palestinian Arabs. Polling in February showed Democrats now closely divided, with 42 percent saying their sympathies were with Israelis and 39 percent citing the Palestinian Arabs. That compares with a 79 percent to 11 percent split in favor of Israelis among Republicans.

In each poll the numbers differ but the conclusion is the same: Republicans are significantly more supportive than Democrats of Israel, while Democrats are now more sympathetic to Palestinians. Whether this is good or bad news depends, of course, on one’s own views of the Middle East and one’s own partisan leanings. But it is certainly a message to pro-Israel Democrats, and to the pro-Israel community, that whatever is being done to maintain—or better, to recover—Democratic support for Israel is not working.

More on:

Israel

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Polls and Public Opinion

 

 

 

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