Poll: As Hagel battle begins, wide partisan differences in support for Israel
About four-in-ten Democrats (41%) sympathized more with Israel and 13% sympathized with the Palestinians. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to volunteer that they sympathized with neither side in the conflict (15% vs. 7% of Republicans) and to offer no opinion (27% vs. 18%).
The 29-point partisan gap in the percentages sympathizing more with Israel is about the same as it has been in recent years. But differences were more modest a decade ago, and in 1978, shortly after the Israel-Egypt peace agreement, the gap was just five points.
The differences have widened as Republican support for Israel has grown and Democratic opinion has been more stable. In December, 70% of Republicans sympathized more with Israel, compared with 56% in 2002 and 49% in 1978. Among Democrats, the most recent measure (41%) was little different from the percentage of Democrats who sympathized more with Israel in 2002 (37%) and 1978 (44%).