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Big Drop-Off in Democratic Support for Israel Over the Past Year

More on the Arab-American Institute’s forthcoming poll about U.S. attitudes toward Israel. I still haven’t seen the full poll, but I’ve gotten one detail of it. According to its findings, not only has the partisan gap between Democratic and Republican views on Israel widened, but the Democratic drop-off in support has been severe over the past year. From the poll, which won’t be fully released until Thursday:

2009 attitudes towards Israel among…

Dems: Favorable: 55% Unfavorable: 32 %

GOP: Favorable: 91% Unfavorable: 6%

2010 attitudes towards Israel among…

Dems: Favorable: 42% Unfavorable: 49%

GOP: Favorable: 92% Unfavorable: 7%

So there’s practically no change among Republicans, but a 13-point drop in favorability and a 17-point rise in unfavorability among Democrats. I think I’ll refrain from offering analysis until I see the full poll results, but the first explanation that jumps into my mind is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rough interactions with President Obama would stand a good chance of rubbing some Democrats the wrong way.

On a related note, J Street released its annual poll of American Jewish attitudes, and according to a press release, this is part of what it found:

American Jews by a four-to-one margin, 82-18 percent, support the United States playing an active role in helping the parties to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, with 73 percent of American Jews supporting this active role even if it means that the United States were to publicly state its disagreements with both the Israelis and the Arabs.

And by a 71-29 percent margin, American Jews support the United States “exerting pressure” on both the Israelis and the Arabs to make the necessary compromises to achieve peace. An earlier J Street poll last March found a similar level of support.

The full poll is here.

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