A Darmouth foreign policy poll of American attitudes, conducted in May and June, has interesting questions and answers regarding Israel. See Questions 49-52.
Q 49. A national interests question: 52 percent of Americans think the U.S. depends on Israel to protect “vital interests” in the Middle East. 17 percent don’t believe so.
Q 50: Another national interests question, we’re winning this one: 61 percent of Americans agree that “Current U.S. military, economic and political support for Israel angers many Muslims and makes terrorist attacks against the United States and our interests more likely.” Only 6.9 percent disagree.
And when you shake out Republicans and Democrats, 65 percent of Republicans agree, 61 percent of Democrats.
Q 51. Your congresspeople, are they more favorable to Israel than you are, or less? Democrats say they are more favorable, by 34 percent to 7 percent. (Just as favorable and don’t know: 58 percent). This suggests to me that the Democratic Party is out of step with its base on the issue.
The numbers are almost reversed for Republicans (with large blocs in both parties saying they don’t know or the politicians are just as favorable.)
Q 52: When it comes to influencing U.S. policy toward Israel and the Middle East, do you think that “pro-Israel lobby groups” have too much influence, or too little? Overall, people say too much by 28 percent to 13 percent. And Democrats say, Too much by 38 percent to 7 percent. Republicans are flipflopped (too little: 26 percent, too much, 13.5 percent). Again, a sign that the Democratic base is way to the left of the Democratic Party.
PS Jim Lobe was on to this a month back…