Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
So Far, Americans Overwhelmingly Support Israel
All Eyes on Virginia - Please Donate, Volunteer, Vote Early Today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy Saturday all - it’s a warm, beautiful fall weekend here in the DC area, ideal for canvassing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope everyone here in the Hopium community will take an action to help us win Virginia today. For those already working, giving and voting - thank you!!!!!!!!!
Here’s Congresswoman McClennan with a reminder of what’s at stake in Virginia:
You can learn more on how to donate and volunteer here, and if you live in Virginia please vote today! When you vote early you come off the GOTV rolls, allowing campaigns to move on to lower propensity voters. Early voting is something all of us here at Hopium must do ourselves, and become advocates for others to join us. Early voting increases overall Dems turnout, and helps us win. Let’s do this people!
Support For Isreal Is Broad and Deep in the US, and Has Grown Since 10/7 - We are in the very early days of the aftermath of Hamas’ barbaric attack on Israel (and America too - 32 Americans were murdered on October 7th, 10 more remain held hostage in Gaza), and my expectation is that American public opinion about the war will change as events in the region unfold in the coming months. But here a few things we know:
- Biden’s approval rating has neither gained or fallen so far. His approval rating is always bouncy, and as we’ve discussed here at lenght there are legitimate questions about how meaningful the measure is these days given how strong Democrats have performed with his approval in the low 40s. Yes there has been a single poll showing a meaningful drop for Biden, but the other polls out this week have not shown any movement outside of the margin of error (it’s a bouncy measure, always moving around). Here’s the latest 538 summary, where Biden is actually a point higher than October 3rd:
- 538 has also a very good new analysis of recent polling on Israel-Gaza. A few excerpts:
they found that pro-Israeli sentiment had spiked amid the conflict. For example, according to Fox News, registered voters went from sympathizing with Israelis over Palestinians by 59 percent to 24 percent in May 2021 to sympathizing with them 68 percent to 18 percent this month. And according to Morning Consult, they went from sympathizing with Israelis over Palestinians 28 percent to 11 percent in May 2021 to 41 percent to 9 percent this month.
This is an abrupt reversal of a long-term trend that has seen Americans slowly start to sympathize more with Palestinians over the past several years (although still not as much as they sympathized with Israelis). Back in 2013, Gallup found that Americans sympathized with Israelis over Palestinians 64 percent to 12 percent, but earlier this year, that gap was down to 54 percent to 31 percent……
….Fox News and Morning Consult found that the biggest spikes in support for Israelis came from Democrats and independents too. Per Morning Consult, Democrats went from sympathizing with Palestinians 18 percent to 12 percent in 2021 to sympathizing with Israelis 28 percent to 15 percent this year. Meanwhile, Republicans went from sympathizing with Israelis 51 percent to 3 percent to sympathizing with them 55 percent to 4 percent. In other words, most Republicans are dug in on this issue; Democrats and independents seem to be the only persuadable Americans.
Given Americans’ sympathies for Israelis, it makes sense that they also approve of Israel’s retaliation against Hamas’s attacks. SSRS/CNN found that 50 percent of Americans thought the Israeli government’s military response was fully justified, and another 20 percent thought it was partially justified. And a YouGov/The Economist survey from Oct. 14-17 found that only 18 percent of Americans thought the Israeli government’s response has been too harsh; 32 percent thought it was about right, and 22 percent thought it was not harsh enough.
J.L. Partners/DailyMail.com, polling Oct. 10-12, also asked Americans about specific measures that Israel could or is taking against Palestine. The most popular countermeasure was conducting airstrikes on Hamas targets; 60 percent of respondents to the poll felt that that was a reasonable response by Israel. By contrast, 50 percent said that a full invasion and occupation of the Gaza Strip was reasonable, and 45 percent said that a blockade of electricity, food, water and fuel was reasonable.
Not only do Americans support the Israeli government’s response, but they also want their own government to come to Israel’s aid. Seventy-one percent of Americans told YouGov/The Economist that protecting Israel was a very or somewhat important U.S. policy goal. And Quinnipiac University’s Oct. 12-16 survey found that 76 percent of registered voters thought supporting Israel was in the U.S. national interest.
For those rolling their eyes about Fox News polling, a reminder that the Fox News polling unit is highly regarded and independent from the network’s broader politics.
An October Axios poll (below) has data relevant to the conversation we’ve been having here - young Americans are in a different place on Israel-Gaza from older generations, who perhaps have more vivid memories of 9/11 and the horrors Jihadi terror brought to the US and the world:
This poll was taken before the Israeli military response began, so my assumption is that the “criticize Israel” response has grown since then. But all this data shows is that there just isn’t broad support for the pro-Palestinian and occasionally pro-Hamas) sentiment we’ve seen among younger protestors in recent weeks, even among young Americans. That may change as events on the ground change, but it’s also possible that the blatant antisemitism expressed by some of the protestors in recent days could create a deep and meaningful backlash against this nascent movement. I think it’s safe to say that American Jews have never felt less physically safe in this country than they do today - I know I feel that way, and worry, deeply about my three children in ways I never have before. It’s why I think for these protests to be successful they will have to find a way to be pro-Palestinian, anti-Hamas/Russia/Iran and pro-American Jew. If they can’t do that, they will risk becoming another set of Russian-aligned “useful idiots” advancing the agenda of those working to weaken the United States and the global order we imagined and built.
Finally, it is my hope that in these coming days these protestors broaden their scope to include what is the most serious and active genocide happening in the world today, the Russian attempt to wipe Ukraine and Ukrainians off the face of the Earth. We cannot for one moment take our eye off what Russia is doing in Ukraine, or the mass murder it has supported throughout the world.
These are tough issues. And we are in the early days of what feels like a new moment in the 2024 election cycle. But as go forward, together, let us be united in our desire for peace, for the protection of innocents, and for the opportunity of all people, regardless of where they live, to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Keep working hard all - Simon