More than half of likely voters say the Obama administration’s policy on Israel is either somewhat or very important to the way they vote, according to this week’s The Hill Poll.
The survey comes just as Republicans managed to win the Brooklyn- and Queens-based congressional seat of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), in what many called a referendum on President Obama’s approach to Israel.
The internal numbers are actually even worse for the president. According to the poll, 67 percent of likely voters believe President Obama is not pro-Israel, with 29 percent saying he’s “anti-Israel” and 38 percent saying he’s neither pro nor anti. Less than a quarter say he’s pro-Israel. It’s supremely troubling such a large majority believes Obama has a negative or neutral view of a country that is one of our closest allies.
The numbers largely break down along party lines, with Republicans more likely to characterize him as anti-Israel than Democrats. But independent voters are more likely to say Obama is anti-Israel (37 percent) than pro-Israel (21 percent). An additional 35 percent say he’s neither.
Half of independent voters also say Obama isn’t supportive enough of Israel, while just 26 percent say he’s supportive enough and 13 percent say he’s too supportive.
The poll suggests Obama’s Israel policy has the potential to become a general election issue. Sixty-two percent of voters say the administration’s stance on Israel is either very or somewhat important to their vote. Many Democrats have dismissed the NY-9 race as a unique situation, but this indicates the importance of the Israel issue extends beyond the Jewish community.