A Gallup poll released Friday shows Americans who are familiar with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have a favorable opinion of the politician, similar to results of the last Gallup poll testing the same matter in 1999.
The poll showed that 50 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of Independents and 25 percent of Democrats that felt familiar enough with Netanyahu to provide a rating had a positive view of the Israeli leader.
However, although Netanyahu traveled to the US and met with Barack Obama earlier this year, according to the poll, four in 10 people said they were not familiar enough to rate the prime minister at all.
The poll also showed a change in opinion regarding Netanyahu over the past 13 years. In the ‘99 poll, 38 percent of Republicans found Netanyahu to be favorable, and 15 percent found him unfavorable (47 percent had no opinion). In the new poll, 50 percent found him favorable, 16 percent found him unfavorable, and 35 percent had no opinion.
In contrast, 31 percent of Democrats found Netanyahu favorable in 1999, while 25 percent feel the same today. The percentage of people who had no opinion of him remains the same.
The change shows a marked decrease in US Democrats backing Bibi, with a stark increase in Republicans that do so.
The study implied that Americans who have a positive view of Israel also have a positive view of Netanyahu. Gallup suggested that Democrats view him more negatively than Republicans due to perceived disputes with Obama.
Meanwhile, a Gallup Daily tracking from June 1 to July 26 found that Jewish voters still favor Obama over GOP candidate Mitt Romney by 68 percent to 25 percent. Gallup also reported that Americans currently view Obama as better able to handle foreign affairs than Romney.
The Netanyahu survey was conducted from July 9-12, before the prime minister’s scheduled meeting with Romney.