netanyahu 224 88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu did not receive the political boost customary for the winner of a party primary from his victory in this week's Likud leadership race, a poll conducted for Israel Radio found on Thursday.
Republican and Democratic presidential candidates in the United States traditionally enjoy a bump in the surveys after they are chosen by their party conventions. The same thing happened in Israel in June when Defense Minister Ehud Barak rose from 16 seats to 28 in the polls in one week after he was elected Labor Party chairman.
Pollster Yitzhak Katz, who often works for Netanyahu, asked a sample of 518 Israelis who their ideal candidate for prime minister would be, depending on who ran. The poll had a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
When the candidates were Netanyahu, Barak and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the poll found that Netanyahu would only beat Barak by 32 percent to 30%. Olmert received just 5% in the survey.
If Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni replaced Olmert as Kadima's candidate for prime minister, Netanyahu received 29%, and Livni and Barak 24% each. If Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz or Construction and Housing Minister Ze'ev Boim were Kadima's candidate, the would receive only 10% and Netanyahu would beat Barak by a small margin.
Livni, Mofaz and Sheetrit all reiterated that they intend to run in interviews on Thursday with Channel 2 and Israel Radio. "Anyone who is near the top of a party would want to lead it and that includes Kadima," Mofaz said.
Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, who has not decided whether to run, finished second after Olmert in a comprehensive poll of more than 4,000 members conducted by a Kadima activist Web site this week.
Likud activist Moshe Feiglin, who lost Tuesday's primary race to Netanyahu, predicted that Netanyahu's support among the general public would fall because of his "dictatorial behavior" during the race. Netanyahu's associates said their recent polls have found that his support was growing but that they did not intend to take one any time soon.
"We have run out of poll money, because the primary cost a lot of money," a source close to Netanyahu said. "The reality with Bibi [Netanyahu] is that his basis of support is gradually growing and his support is much deeper than Barak's and Livni's. Not only do more support him, but they support him more than they did before. That's why we are pretty encouraged."