Tags: Israel | Democrats | Israel | support | polls

Polls: Democrats' Support for Israel Weakening

Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 11:13 AM

By Jennifer G. Hickey


Support for Israel among Democrats is weakening, according to recent polls.

"The bigger issue is with the Democratic Party electorate, namely academic elites, African-Americans and younger voters. As those blocs of voters become more skeptical of Israel’s right to defend itself — and that seems to be happening — that is going to make American Jews who are Democratic Party voters less comfortable in their own party," Noam Neusner, a former George W. Bush administration official who served as a liaison to the Jewish community, told The Hill.

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A July 24-27 poll Pew Research Center poll, when divided into party affiliation, support for Israel is lowest among liberal Democrats with 44 percent saying Israel has gone too far in its military campaign against Hamas in Gaza and 33 believe their response has been measured. More than half,  51 percent,  of conservative Republicans say the response has been about right.

As many as 36 percent of blacks, who predominantly vote Democratic, say Israel has gone too far, while only 22 percent of whites hold that view.

Similarly, 35 percent of Hispanic voters believe Israel has pushed too aggressively against Hamas.

When asked who was to blame for the current conflict, again liberal Democrats are most critical of Israel. They split evenly with 30 percent ascribing blame to Israel and 30 percent blaming Hamas. Conservative Republicans overwhelmingly support Israel by a 70 percent to 6 percent margin.

Pew's findings are echoed in a July 22-23 Gallup survey, which found a majority, 65 percent, of Republican respondents supporting Israel's strategy toward Hamas. Meanwhile, Democrats take the opposing view, with nearly half saying Israel's actions are unjustified.

Only 31 percent of Democrats see Israel's actions as justified. Even more Independents, 36 percent, see Israel's actions as justified.

Conversely, 47 of Democrats consider Israel's response to Hamas as "unjustified," while 21 percent and 46 percent of Republicans and Independents, respectively, hold that position.

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