Join Our Mailing List

American Public Opinion Polls:
Regarding U.S. Middle East Policy

(Updated May 2016)


American Polls: Table of Contents | Sympathy Toward Israel/Arabs | Opinion on Iran


Print Friendly and PDF

If you had to choose, would you rather the U.S. focus it's diplomatic and military resources on the Middle East or Asia?
        (PBS/Marist, May 2016)

 
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Total
Middle East
58%
55%
53%
53%
Asia
29%
22%
27%
24%
Don't know/refuse to answer
13%
24%
20%
23%

Regardless of whether or not you think the U.S. should have a military role in the Middle East, which of the following do you think is the best reason for staying involved in the region?
        (PBS/Marist, May 2016)

 
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Total
Commitment to Israel's safety
23%
15%
19%
18%
The importance of Middle East oil
10%
5%
6%
9%
The need to defeat ISIS
63%
72%
67%
64%
Don't know/refuse to answer
4%
8%
7%
9%

When it comes to the U.S. role in the Middle East, do you think the U.S. should...?
        (PBS/Marist, May 2016)

 
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Total
Increase it's military presence
40%
21%
16%
23%
Keep military presence at current levels
14%
26%
30%
23%
Decrease it's military presence
19%
31%
27%
24%
Completely withdraw
15%
10%
16%
15%
Don't know/refuse to answer
12%
13%
11%
14%

From what you have heard or read about the U.S. role in the Middle East, do you think the U.S. is doing more harm or good in the region?
        (PBS/Marist, May 2016)

 
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Total
Doing more harm
57%
52%
42%
49%
Doing more good
23%
27%
35%
27%
Don't know/refuse to answer
20%
22%
23%
25%

Do you agree or disagree with this proposal, or don't you know enough to say? Recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv?
        (Gallup, March 2016)

 
U.S. Jews
Agree
24%
Disagree
20%
Don't know enough to say
56%

One of the issues of tension between the United States and Israel has been its construction of Israeli settlements in the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 war. These settlements are considered illegal by most of the international community and have been opposed by every US administration, both Republican and Democratic. The Israeli government has continued to build settlements arguing that they have the right to do so, or that these are not obstacles to peace. How do you believe the US should react to new settlements?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Total
Do nothing
30%
51%
16%
27%
Vocally oppose, but do not take action
38%
13%
30%
31%
Impose economic sanctions
20%
18%
37%
27%
Take more serious action
6%
13%
12%
10%
Don't know/refuse to answer
5%
6%
5%
5%

As you may know, there have been suggestions that the UN Security Council should endorse the establishment of a Palestinian state. This idea has received some support in Europe, but opposition in Israel. If the UN Security Council considers such a plan, what do you think the US should do as a member of the UN Security Council?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Total
Vote in favor of a Palestinian state
18%
15%
39%
27%
Vote against a Palestinian state, including using America's veto power
43%
13%
15%
26%
Abstain from voting
37%
65%
42%
43%
Don't know/refuse to answer
3%
7%
4%
4%

In general, what role do you want the United States to play in mediating the Israeli Palestinian conflict? Should the United States...
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Total
Lean towards Israel
45%
13%
19%
29%
Lean towards the Palestinians
2%
3%
4%
3%
Lean towards neither side
51%
80%
75%
66%
Don't know/refuse to answer
1%
4%
2%
2%

As you may know, the United States has been acting as a mediator between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, with the aim of reaching an agreement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Whether or not these efforts succeed, there is a question about what kind of future for Israel and the Palestinians the US should be supporting over the long term, and many analysts feel that time is running out for some options. Here are four possible options that are frequently discussed. Please select the one you think the US should support?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Total
Two states, side-by-side, 1967 borders
29%
25%
45%
35%
One state, equal citizenship
29%
33%
33%
31%
Annexation of territories without equal citizenship
11%
14%
7%
10%
Maintain the status quo indefinitely
22%
20%
11%
17%
Don't know/refuse to answer
10%
8%
4%
7%

Do you believe that the Israeli government has...?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Total
Too little influence in American politics
22%
17%
14%
18%
Too much influence
25%
35%
49%
37%
The right level of influence
52%
42%
36%
44%
Don't know/refuse to answer
1%
6%
2%
2%

Thinking about US interests, how important an issue is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Total
The single most important issue
9%
3%
4%
6%
Among the top three issues
25%
13%
20%
21%
Among the top five issues
42%
26%
35%
27%
Not among the top five issues
24%
54%
39%
35%
Don't know/refuse to answer
--
4%
2%
1%

How important is the Israeli-Palestinian issue for you personally?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Total
The single most important issue
5%
3%
4%
4%
Among the top three issues
18%
7%
11%
14%
Among the top five issues
27%
13%
16%
20%
Not among the top five issues
49%
76%
68%
61%
Don't know/refuse to answer
1
2%
1%
1%

When you are deciding which candidate to vote for in Congress or for President, how much do you consider the candidate’s position on US policy toward Israel?
        (Note: this survey contains an oversample of self-identified Evangelical Christians) (University of Maryland, December 2015)

 
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Total
A lot
40%
22%
14%
26%
Some
36%
18%
35%
33%
Just a little
10%
21%
27%
19%
Not at all
14%
30%
25%
21%
Don't know/refuse to answer
<1%
8%
<1%
1%

In the Middle East conflict, do you think the United States should...?
         (Chicago Council, November 2015)

Take Israel's side
30%
Remain neutral
64%
Take the Palestinian side
3%

Would you favor or oppose the use of U.S. troops if Israel were attacked by it's neighbors?
         (Chicago Council, November 2015)

I would favor this
45%
I would oppose this
55%

Should economic aid to Israel be increased, decreased, kept about the same, or stopped alltogether?
         (Chicago Council, November 2015)

Stopped alltogether
18%
Kept the same
21%
Decreased
46%
Increased
12%

Should military aid to Israel be increased, decreased, kept about the same, or stopped alltogether?
         (Chicago Council, November 2015)

Stopped alltogether
18%
Kept the same
19%
Decreased
46%
Increased
13%

Do you think the U.S. government should be secretly spying on the government of Israel or not?
         (Chicago Council, November 2015)

Yes, they should spy
44%
No, they should not
52%

Do you think U.S. leaders should meet and talk with the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, or Iran?
         (Chicago Council, November 2015)

 
Hamas
Hezbollah
Iran
Yes, they should meet and talk
50%
50%
73%
No, they should not meet and talk
50%
50%
27%

In covering the recent escalation of violence, the world media has favored...?
         (Rasmussen, October 2015)

The Israelis
22%
The Palestinians
30%
Media coverage has been fair to both sides
23%
Don't know/refuse to answer
25%

If the current violence continues between the Israelis and Palestinians, the United States should...?
         (Rasmussen, October 2015)

Get more directly involved
34%
Leave the situation alone
55%
Don't know/refuse to answer
11%

In the recent escalation of violence in Jerusalem, are most Americans more supportive of the Israelis or the Palestinians?
         (Rasmussen, October 2015)

Israelis
60%
Palestinians
10%
Don't know/refuse to answer
30%

Would you support or oppose legislation that would make any Iran agreement subject to congressional approval?
         (Quinnipiac, April 2015)

Support
65%
Oppose
24%
Don't know/refuse to answer
10%

Would you prefer military intervention against Iran's nuclear program or a negotiated settlement to reduce its nuclear potential?
         (Quinnipiac, April 2015)

Military intervention
13%
Negotiated settlement
77%
Don't know/refuse to answer
10%

Do you think the President of the United States should be a strong supporter of Israel or not?
         (Quinnipiac, April 2015)

April 2015
October 2011
April 2010
Yes they should
67%
63%
66%
No they should not
20%
20%
19%
Don't know/refuse to answer
13%
17%
15%

Do you think President Barack Obama is a strong supporter of Israel or not?
         (Quinnipiac, April 2015)

April 2015
October 2011
April 2010
Yes he is
38%
39%
34%
No he is not
48%
40%
42%
Don't know/refuse to answer
15%
21%
24%

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation in Iran?
         (Quinnipiac, April 2015)

April 2015
January 2014
October 2013
November 2011
Approve
37%
39%
48%
46%
Disapprove
52%
47%
40%
38%
Don't know/refuse to answer
10%
14%
12%
16%

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation between Israel and the Palestinians?
         (Quinnipiac, April 2015)

April 2015
October 2011
April 2010
Approve
31%
34%
35%
Disapprove
53%
48%
44%
Don't know/refuse to answer
15%
17%
21%

Based on what you know about the proposed new deal with Iran and the negotiations on it's nuclear program, would you say President Obama is being too tough on Iran, too soft, or striking the right balance?
         (Fox News, April 2015)

Too tough
2%
Too soft
51%
Right balance
34%
Don't know/refuse to answer
13%

Do you think negotiating with Iran is the right thing for the United States to do because it’s the best way to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, or is negotiating with Iran the wrong thing to do because Iran can’t be trusted to honor any agreement?
         (Fox News, April 2015)

It is the right thing to do
40%
It is the wrong thing to do
50%
Mixed/not sure
5%
Don't know/refuse to answer
5%

How would you say things are going for the U.S. in the fight against Islamic extremists?
         (Bloomberg, April 2015)

Very well
3%
Somewhat well
30%
Somewhat badly
24%
Very badly
29%
Don't know/refuse to answer
5%

Recently there have been clashes between Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Obama. Which of these individuals are you more sympathetic towards?
         (Bloomberg, April 2015)

Netanyahu
34%
Obama
47%
Don't know/refuse to answer
19%

When it comes to relations between the U.S. and Israel, which of the following do you agree with more?
         (Bloomberg, April 2015)

Israel is an important ally, the only democracy in the region, and we should support it even if our interests diverge
45%
Israel is an important ally, but we should pursue our own interests when we disagree with them
47%
Don't know/refuse to answer
8%

Some people say Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is in the middle of an election at home, and it is inappropriate for the U.S. to host him for a speech only two weeks before the election is being held. They say this is a Republican attempt to make Netanyahu look stronger before his election. Other people say Iran is getting closer to building a nuclear weapon. As one of the world's most knowledgeable leaders on the Middle East and the Iranian nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should address Congress before the March 31st deadline for a political framework with Iran.  Which do you agree with?
         (CNN/ORC, February 2015)

It is inappropriate to host Netanyahu so close to an election
25%
It is not inappropriate to host Netanyahu so close to an election
43%
Don't know/refuse to answer
33%

In your view, should the United States become more active in world affairs, less active in world affairs, or continue it's current level of activity in world affairs?
 (NBC News/the Wall Street Journal, September 2014)

September 2014
April 2014
September 2001
May 1997
March 1995
More active
27%
19%
37%
17%
17%
Less active
40%
47%
14%
32%
34%
Current level
29%
30%
44%
46%
47%
Not sure
4%
4%
5%
5%
2%

In your opinion, is the United States too involved in Middle East affairs?
         (Rasmussen, July 2014)

The US is too involved in the Middle East
44%
The US is not involved enough in the Middle East
21%
The level of US involvement in the Middle East is appropriate
24%

In your opinion, are the United States and it's allies winning the war on terror?
         (Rasmussen, July 2014)

The US and it's allies are winning
27%
The terrorists are winning
36%
Neither side is winning
29%

Do you support the short-term agreement with Iran that ends some economic sanctions in exchange for cutbacks in Iran's nuclear weapons program?
         (Rasmussen, November 2013)

Favor deal
41%
Oppose deal
43%
Don't know/No opinion
16%

Would you favor or oppose direct diplomatic negotiations between the U.S. and Iran in an attempt to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons?
         (CNN/ORC, September 2013)

 
October 2009
September 2013
Favor
78%
76%
Oppose
22%
21%
Unsure
1%
3%

Would you support military strikes on Syria if it does not give up its chemical weapons?
         (Pew, September 2013)

Favor Strikes
37%
Oppose Strikes
49%
Don't Know/No Opinion
14%

Should the U.S. conduct airstrikes against Syria in response to reports that the government used chemical weapons?
         (Pew, September 2013)

Favor Strikes
28%
Oppose Strikes
63%
Don't Know/No Opinion
9%

Should Congress pass a resolution authorizing limited U.S. military action in Syria?
         (CNN/ORC, September 2013)

Should Pass
39%
Should Not Pass
59%
No Opinion
2%

Should the United States get more directly involved in the Syrian crisis or leave the situation alone?
          (Rasmussen, August 2011; February 2012; June 2012; Reuters/Ipsos, August 2013)

 
Aug 2011
Feb 2012
June 2012
Aug 2013
Get more directly involved
12%
19%
20%
26%
Leave the situation alone
66%
56%
50%
50%
Undecided
22%
25%
30%
24%

Should the United States continue to provide military and financial aid to Egypt?
         (Rasmussen, August 2013)

Continue Providing Aid
18%
Stop Providing Aid
54%
Undecided
27%

Should the United States get more directly involved in the Egypt situation?
         (Rasmussen, August 2013)

Leave Egypt Situation Alone
73%
Get More Involved
10%
Undecided
17%

Should President Obama be involved in trying to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians?
         (The Hill/Pulse Opinion Research, March 2013)

Very Involved
21%
Somewhat Involved
37%
Not Very Involved
23%
Not At All Invovled
9%
No Opinion
10%

Generally speaking, is President Obama more pro-Israel, anti-Israel or neither?
         (The Hill/Pulse Opinion Research, March 2013)

Pro-Israel
28%
Anti-Israel
30%
Neither
29%
Not Sure
13%

If Israel were to attack Iran to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, then what should the United States do? Should the United States support Israel's military action, or should the United States not get involved?
         (CNN/ORC, March 2013)

Support action
49%
Not get involved
49%
Unsure
2%

In order to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, do you think the United States should increase pressure on the Palestinians or the Israelis to compromise?
         
(Gallup, February 2013)

Feb. 2007
Feb. 2008
Feb. 2013
More Pressure on Palestinians
39%
38%
48%
More Pressure on Israel
30%
25%
25%
More Pressure on Both
11%
15%
10%
No More Pressure on Either
10%
10%
8%
No Opinion
10%
11%
10%

Do you support or oppose the United States taking military action against Iran if there is evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons?
         
(Reuters/Ipsos, March 2012)

Support
56%
Oppose
39%
Neither
2%
Both/Unsure
3%

Which of these two statements is closest to your own view?
          (ADL, October 23, 2011)

 
2007
2011
"American Jews stifle debate about U.S. policy toward Israel and the Middle East."
23%
25%
"The national debate about U.S. policy toward Israel and the Middle East is vigorous and wide open."
46%
52%

Obama promised to veto the Palestinian statehood bid, intervened in the embassy crisis with Egypt, and supported Israel in his UN speech. What's the main reason? (TNS/Teleseker, October 4-6, 2011)

Elections are coming, he needs Jewish votes
67%
He is balanced, may support Palestinians in future
9%
He's learned more about the Middle East
6%
Has always been pro-Israel
5%
Don't know
13%

Do you think President Obama is a strong supporter of Israel or not? (Quinnipiac University/The Israel Project, October 3, 2011)

 
April 2010
June 2011
October 2011
Approve
35%
35%
34%
Disapprove
44%
47%
48%

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation between Israel and the Palestinians? (Quinnipiac University/The Israel Project, October 3, 2011)

 
June 2011
July 2011
September 2011
October 2011
Approve
46%
47%
44%
44%
Disapprove
44%
43%
47%
48%

Do you think the President of the United States should be a strong supporter of Israel or not? (Quinnipiac University/The Israel Project, October 3, 2011)

 
April 2010
June 2011
October 2011
Republican
Independent
Democrat
Should
66%
66%
63%
76%
62%
56%
Should not
19%
18%
20%
12%
25%
19%

Would you say that President Obama favors Israel or favors the Palestinians?
(Independent Media Review Analysis, September 2011)

Israel
21.4%
Palestinians
36.2%
Treats them equally
20.6%
Don't know/Refused to answer
21.8%

Do you think Obama's policies towards Iran will succeed in convincing them to abandon developing nuclear weapons?
(Independent Media Review Analysis, September 2011)

Yes
10.2%
No
77.6%
Don't know/Refused to answer
12.2%

President Obama is pursuing a policy of diplomacy and sanctions to stop the Iran nuclear program. Do you think this policy will succeed?
(McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Yes
28.0%
No
58.6%
Don't know/Refused to answer
13.4%

Do you think President Obama's policies toward Iran will stop them from getting nuclear weapons?
(McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Yes
12.8%
No
78.5%
Don't know/Refused to answer
8.7%

Do you think President Obama's failure to stop Iran's nuclear program would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East?
(McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Yes
50.3%
No
33.8%
Don't know/Refused to answer
15.9%

When Israel faces a conflict with its enemies, do you want your elected officials to express their support for Israel, or to pressure Israel for a cease-fire? (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Support Israel
42.9%
Pressure Israel
32.4%
Don't know/Refuse to answer
14.8%

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "The Israeli-Arab conflict is the key to improving American's standing and interests in the region." (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Agree
50.6%
Disagree
31.8%
Don't know/Refused to answer
17.7%

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "Enemies of America use the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as an excuse to create anti-American sentiment. Even if the dispute is settled, they would find another way to justify their hostility towards America." (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Agree
81.8%
Disagree
11.2%
Don't know/Refused to answer
7.0%

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing handling America's relations with Israel? (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Approve
43.2%
Disapprove
44.3%
Don't know/Refuse to answer
12.6%

Do you think President Obama's policies in the Middle East are improving Israel's security or harming it? (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Improving security
29.6%
Harming it
42.7%
Don't know/Refuse to answer
27.7%

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "Barack Obama has been less friendly to Israel than previous presidents." (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Agree
51.6%
Disagree
35.4%
Don't know/Refuse to answer
13.0%

President Barack Obama is committed to a policy of outreach to the Muslim World. Knowing this, do you think this policy has increased or decreased the security of the United States? (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Increased
33.1%
Decreased
46.5%
Don't know/Refuse to answer
20.4%

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "Israel's enemies are America's enemies." (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Agree
50.9%
Disagree
38.4%
Don't know/Refuse to answer
10.7%

When it comes to the peace process, the Obama Administration has followed a policy of publicly criticizing and pressuring Israel, but not the Palestinians. Do you agree or disagree with this approach? (McLaughlin & Associates, October 2010)

Agree
27.0%
Disagree
54.4%
Don't know/Refuse to answer
18.7%

Thinking specifically about the Middle East, do you approve or disapprove of the way President Obama is handling U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinian territories? (ADL, October 2009)

Approve
46%
Disapprove
32%

In your opinion, does the Obama administration tilt toward Israel, the Palestinians, or is it generally balanced in its Middle East polices? (ADL, October 2009)

Toward Israel
13%
Toward the Palestinians
15%
Generally balanced
49%

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: "The U.S. is more likely to be targeted for terrorist attack because of our support for Israel." (ADL)

 
2003
2005
2007
2009
Agree
73%
68%
65%
64%
Disagree
33%
22%
26%
-

In your opinion, should the U.S. continue to support Israel even if it means there will be a greater risk of terrorist attacks against America, or should the U.S. pull back from its support of Israel to minimize the risk of a terrorist attack in this country? (ADL)

 
2003
2005
2007
2009
Support
62%
61%
57%
61%
Pull back
31%
31%
34%
33%

Back to Top