A new poll conducted by CNBC this week found that following the unprovoked Hamas terrorist attack on Israel almost two weeks ago, more Americans favor supporting Israel over the Palestinians and strongly backed U.S. military funding for the Middle Eastern ally.
However, a significant share of Americans also wanted the U.S. to be evenhanded in the conflict.
The CNBC All-America Economic Survey found that 39 percent of Americans believe the U.S. government should favor Israelis over Palestinians in their conflict, compared with 34 percent after the 2014 Gaza war. In addition, 36 percent said that the U.S. should treat both the same, compared with 53 percent in 2014. Currently, 19 percent of Americans are undecided, up from 9 percent in 2014, which suggests the situation remains fluid and actions by either side could still move public opinion.
Military Support for U.S. Allies
The poll also found that 74 percent of Americans believe it is either somewhat or very important for the U.S. government to fund military aid to Israel. A smaller majority – 61 percent – still believe that it is important to fund military aid to Ukraine, compared with 52 percent who support military and economic aid to Taiwan.
Seventy-two percent of the poll’s respondents said it is also important to fund securing the border with Mexico and foreign humanitarian aid.
The poll was conducted prior to President Joe Biden’s Thursday evening prime-time address from the Oval Office, in which he made an impassioned appeal to the American people to support the two fellow democracies.
“Hamas and Putin represent different threats, but they share this in common: They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy, completely annihilate it,” Biden said in his address.
“We can’t let petty partisan, angry politics get in the way of our responsibilities as a great nation. We cannot and will not let terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin win. I refuse to let that happen,” he added.
“History has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction,” the president warned. “They keep going. And the cost and the threat to America in the world keep rising. If we don’t stop Putin’s appetite for power and control in Ukraine, he won’t limit himself just to Ukraine.”
Biden’s Approval Falling
The CNBC All-America Economic Survey also found that Biden’s overall approval rating has continued to decline and he currently has just 37 percent approval compared to 58 percent disapproval. It’s the highest disapproval and second-lowest approval rating of his presidency.
Biden had just 32 percent approval for his handling of the economy, also the lowest of his presidency – while 63 percent disapproved, the second lowest.
Even as Biden flew to Israel to pledge his support, Americans largely don’t approve of his handling of foreign policy – and the president maintains just 31 percent approval to 60 percent disapproval. Within his own party, only 66 percent of Democrats support his foreign policy, while 74 percent back his handling of the economy.
The poll further found that in a hypothetical rematch with former President Donald Trump, Biden would lose by four points – 46 to 42 percent, with 12 percent undecided. Pollsters have noted that Biden’s poor approval numbers would traditionally show a greater lead for a challenger, but voters clearly have widespread reservations about the former president as well.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.