New poll on Israel a red flag for Democrats?

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

The Squad might get headlines for its attacks on Israel during conflicts with Hamas, but they might end up marginalizing their party. A new Fox poll shows Americans back Israel by well over a 2:1 margin over the Palestinians, even while progressives in Congress accuse Israel of running an “apartheid state.” Majorities of respondents also favor military aid and direct sales of weaponry to Israel, too:

Most American voters side with Israel in the Mideast conflict, and over half favor the United States helping with money and weapons, according to the latest Fox News survey.

By a 56-38 percent margin, voters approve of providing the Israeli government with financial aid for its military, and are almost as supportive on selling weapons to Israel (51 percent favor, 44 percent oppose). …

In general, 59 percent of voters say they side more with the Israelis, while 24 percent sympathize with the Palestinians.

Just in case one is tempted to dismiss this poll as a Fox News artifact, recall that Fox’ polling was routinely less friendly to Donald Trump than some other polling series. This particular survey gives Joe Biden a 54/42 overall approval rating, for instance, a 64% approval rating on handling the pandemic, and 54% on the environment. These results don’t reflect Fox News’ commentary much, obviously.

The Fox polling series doesn’t ask this question often enough to make a serious trendline, but the difference from twenty years ago looks pretty stark. In August 2001, only 35% of Americans sided with the Israelis, with 11% siding with the Palestinians. The majority (54%) didn’t make a choice at that time. Only 7% of Americans are undecided now, which suggests a much stronger affiliation between American voters and Israel than a generation ago.

That choice holds up even better in the demos, too. Support for Israel outstrips support for the Palestinians in every demo, and for the most part by outright majorities. The narrower pluralities come among blacks (44/37), Hispanics (48/36), those under 45 (46/38). Even a plurality of Democrats support Israel (42/35) and a majority of urban voters (50/32). Independents support Israel by almost a 2:1 margin at 53/28.

None of these demos appear to have a large number of undecideds any longer, either. Those choices have been made.

The strident and radical messaging from the Squad and other progressives in the Democratic ranks cut directly against this solidified political consensus. American voters don’t necessarily choose party affiliation over foreign-policy issues, but it’s yet another way in which Democrats appear more and more radical and antithetical to the political consensus. That will have a corrosive effect, especially given the rash of attacks on Jews recently in American cities by pro-Palestinian activists. Progressives are playing with fire in more than one sense, and it’s Democrats who may eventually get burned at the ballot box because of it.