Friday, February 26, 2010

Gallup: Record high Support for Israel in U.S. at 63%; 83% Republicans are sympatic and support Israel

For the first time since 1991, more than 6 in 10 Americans -- 63% -- say their sympathies in the Middle East situation lie more with the Israelis than with the Palestinians. Fifteen percent side more with the Palestinians, down slightly from recent years, while a combined 23% favor both sides, favor neither side, or have no opinion.

The 63% sympathizing with Israel today is statistically unchanged from the 58% to 59% seen from 2006 to 2009; however, it is considerably higher than most of the previous readings on this Gallup measure since 1993. The trend includes two 38% readings in 1996 and 1997.

Only in January 1991 -- shortly after Israel was hit by Iraqi Scud missiles during the Gulf War -- did U.S. support for Israel register as high as it does today.

"Americans' attitudes about the prospects for peace are little changed from last year, but are among the more pessimistic Gallup has found since initiating the question in 1997."

Over the last five years, support for Israel has increased slightly among Republicans (rising from about 77% for each of the past several years to 85% today) and independents, but has stayed roughly the same among Democrats. Since 2001, however, there has been a more dramatic shift in partisan attitudes: a 25-point increase in sympathy for Israel among Republicans and an 18-point increase among independents. Even on this longer-term basis, support for Israel among Democrats has been relatively flat.