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Poll: Romney cares more than Obama about Israel

August 16, 2012 23:25

Peace Index poll shows Israeli Jews – by 2:1 ratio – believe Romney assigns high importance to defending Israel's interests.

Mitt Romney delivers speech in Jerusalem

Mitt Romney delivers speech in Jerusalem 370 (R). (photo credit:Jason Reed / Reuters)

The day after the National Jewish Democratic Council uploaded a video of Sderot residents singing US President Barack Obama’s praises, a poll released Thursday shows Israeli Jews – by a 2:1 ratio – believe Republican hopeful Mitt Romney is more concerned about Israel’s interests than Obama.

The monthly Peace Index poll commissioned by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University asked 516 Israeli Jews whether Obama or Romney “assigns more importance to defending Israel’s national interests.”

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According to the poll, conducted by the Dahaf Institute on August 7-8, 40 percent of the respondents said Romney, 19% Obama and 10% said “both to the same extent.” Another 25% did not know, while 6% said “neither.”

When broken down even further – into the Left, Center and Right camps – Obama only fares well on the Left, with Romney polling significantly better both among those who consider themselves in the Center or on the Right on political-security issues.

In the Center, 39% see Romney as better for Israel, as opposed to 20% for Obama.

On the Right, 52% say Romney, and only 13% Obama.

And on the Left, Obama outpolls Romney 37% – 17%.

The poll has a 4.5 percent margin of error.

The poll was released two weeks after Romney and US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta came to Israel for visits, both seeking to win over pro- Israel supporters in the US.

The poll is interesting because it is one of only a few surveys of Israeli attitudes toward the two candidates.

A poll in June commissioned by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies asked a sample of Jewish Israelis “Who would better promote Israel’s interests, Obama or Romney?” In that survey Romney outpolled Obama 29-22%, with fully 49% either not responding or saying they did not know.
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