Most Democrats Support Israel, but Oppose Netanyahu, Poll Shows

Forty-one percent of respondents say they have a favorable view of Israel, while only 12 percent have a favorable view of Prime Minister Netanyahu

File photo: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an event marking one year since the U.S. embassy moved to Jerusalem on May 14, 2019.

WASHINGTON — A poll commissioned by the left-wing Jewish group J Street shows that while most Democrats in the United States have a favorable view of Israel, only 12 percent have a favorable view of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The poll, conducted by the GBAO polling company, also showed that former Vice President Joe Biden has a large lead among Democratic voters in the fight to represent the party in the 2020 election.

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In the poll, which included interviews with 800 Democratic voters, 41 percent said they had a positive view of Israel, while only 16 percent had a negative view of the country. The rest of the respondents did not have a positive or negative view, or chose not to share their view.

With regard to Netanyahu, the numbers were almost the exact opposite, with 39 percent expressing an unfavorable view of him and only 12 percent expressing a favorable view. 

When asked about their views of the Palestinians, 32 percent expressed a favorable view while 19 percent expressed an unfavorable view. This shows that, overall, Israel has a better standing among Democrats than the Palestinians, but by a relatively small margin. Some 81 percent of respondents also polled as believing that someone can be pro-Israel and still criticize the Israeli government. 

In reply to a question about their preference in the Democratic Party primary, 36 percent chose former Vice President Joe Biden, and 13 percent chose Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sen. Elizabeth Warren received 8 percent support and both Sen. Kamala Harris and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg received 5 percent. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke received 4 percent and Sen. Cory Booker 3 percent. All other candidates received 1 percent or less.