A new Pew Research Center Poll confirms what has seemed patently obvious for years: Democrats have abandoned the state of Israel while Republicans are staunch supporters of the Jewish state.
The poll found 79% of Republicans sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians; only 27% of Democrats felt similarly. That 52% gap is the largest since 1978. GOP voters have soared in their preference for Israel since 2001, when that figure was 50%, while in that same period their preference for the Palestinians dropped from 15% to a measly 6%. Democrats' support for Israel has dropped from 38% in 2001 to the present 27%; their preference for the Palestinians has remained relatively constant from 21% to 25%.
Pew noted, “Since 2001, the share of Republicans sympathizing more with Israel than the Palestinians has increased 29 percentage points, from 50% to 79%. Over the same period, the share of Democrats saying this has declined 11 points, from 38% to 27%.”
The poll found 42% of voters agreed that President Trump is “striking the right balance” in the Middle East; 30% said he favors Israel too much; 3% said Trump sides too much with the Palestinians.
The gap between Republicans and Democrats extends to their feelings about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; 52% of GOP voters approve of him while a paltry 18% of Democrats do.
GOP voters are less sanguine about a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians; 40% of GOP voters think the idea is feasible, 58% of Democrats think the same.
Among Democrats, the decline over the last few years in those who say they sympathize more with Israel is seen both among liberals and among conservatives and moderates. The share of liberal Democrats who sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians has declined from 33% to 19% since 2016. Currently, nearly twice as many liberal Democrats say they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel (35% vs. 19%); 22% of liberal Democrats sympathize with both sides or neither side and 24% do not offer an opinion.