[This totally discedits the CBS poll and assertion that Israel Stands Alone]
The hawkish Emergency Committee for Israel is coming out with a poll today that backs its view that the U.S. has a deeply pro-Israel electorate, one that’s alarmed about Iran’s intentions and skeptical of President Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world.
They’ve shared GOP pollster John McLaughlin’s survey of 1,000 likely voters, and its cross-tabs, in full. And while there are always reasons to be skeptical of polls by advocacy groups that back their views, the sample — 51% of those surveyed have a favorable view of Obama’s defense and national security policy — tilts if anything slightly more toward the White House than other recent public polling.
The results suggest that President Obama’s stance toward the Middle East is not as popular as his foreign policy as a whole, with a plurality disapproving of his handling of Israel and, strikingly, 47% saying his policy of “outreach to the Muslim world” has “decreased” U.S. security, to the 33% who say it’s increased our security.
The poll — using questions that some may find leading — finds large majorities don’t believe that the U.S. can stop Iran’s nuclear program with sanctions, and surprising numbers are open to military action: 60% said they’d support a military strike if sanctions don’t work.
Underlying this: While a slim plurality said Iran was unlikely to shoot a nuclear weapon at the U.S. (the questions don’t worry too much about the actual capabilities), large majorities said they thought it likely that Ian would attack Israel (80%) or provide a nuclear weapon to terrorists (85%).
The poll also makes the case that support for Israel — the focus of ECI’s slashing ad campaigns this year — is a salient issue to large numbers of voters. It finds that 53% would be more likely to vote for a candidate “you perceive as pro-Israel,” to 24% who would be less likely. While the pro-Israel candidate wins the favor of all of the political groups, Democrats are nearly split on the issue, while Republicans overwhelmingly say they would vote for the pro-Israel option.
UPDATE: Bill Kristol uses the numbers to argue that the “real Israel lobby” is “the American people.”
“What the survey shows is this: The American people strongly support the state of Israel, and want their elected representatives to do so as well. An astounding 93 percent of those polled say the United States should be concerned about the security of the state of Israel. A majority—54 percent—say the U.S. should be “very concerned” about Israel’s security. Virtually the same number care that their elected representatives be pro-Israel. When asked, “Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate whom you perceive as pro-Israel?,” 53 percent say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate they saw as pro-Israel, 24 percent less likely. Even more striking, the same number—53 percent—say they could not vote for a candidate if he were anti-Israel, even if that candidate agreed with them on most other issues.”