Just as the Israeli electorate is divided on the issue, American voters are somewhat supportive of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to a joint session of Congress. At the same time, a plurality of voters also believe the relationship between the United States and Israel has gotten colder since President Obama took office, a new Rasmussen Reports poll showed.
According to the poll, published on Tuesday, 42% of likely US voters think Netanyahu should accept Republican congressional leaders’ invitation to address Congress about Iran even if President Obama does not want him to come, while 35% think the Israeli prime minister should not address Congress.
On the issue at the center of this controversy, only 38% of voters rate the Obama administration’s efforts to stop Iran’s development of nuclear weapons as good or excellent. 35% give Obama hands down.
Additionally, 44% believe America’s relations with Israel have gotten worse since Obama took office, while just nine percent think they have gotten better. 38% think U.S.-Israeli relations have stayed about the same since January 2009.
A deeper dive into the numbers shows how partisan the Israel-Iran issue is. While 74% of Republicans think Netanyahu should accept Boehner’s invitation to speak to Congress, 53% of Democrats disagree. Moreover, while 64% of Republicans think the Obama administration has done a poor job on the Iran nuclear negotiations, 60% of Democrats give the administration positive marks. Voters not affiliated with either major political party are more closely divided on both questions.
A majority of 75% of Republicans believe U.S.-Israel relations have soured since Obama took office, but just 23% of Democrats and 38% of unaffiliated voters agree.