The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) on Friday cited results from a recent Gallup poll to suggest that there’s a growing “Israel Gap” between Republicans and Democrats. The poll broke down support for Israel by political affiliation, and revealed that Republican support for Israel is 25 percentage points higher than Democratic support, while overall Democratic support for Israel hovers just above 50 percent.
“Democrats are suffering from an ‘Israel Gap’ and it’s gotten worse under President Obama,” said RJC executive director, Matthew Brooks.
The poll asked 1,029 likely American voters, “Are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?” 78% of Republicans chose Israel, with 21% choosing the Palestinians or both/neither/no opinion; 53% of Democrats chose Israel, with 47% choosing otherwise; and 56% of Independents expressed support for Israel, as opposed to 44% who chose otherwise. The poll had a margin of sampling error of ±4 %.
The RJC reported that: “Over the last dozen years of Gallup polling on this question, there has been a clear trend: Republican support for Israel has risen steadily, moving from 60% to a high of 85%, while Democrat support has been relatively flat, at around 50%.”
Overall, a large majority of 71% Americans view Israel favorably, while only 19% view the Palestinians favorably.
Although support for Israel has traditionally been a bi-partisan issue, the polling trend suggests that the Democratic party platform on Israel may evolve to reflect a shifting sentiment among its voters.