September 7, 2012
Likud voters: Romney 77%, Obama 5%
I was on Israeli television yesterday with my friend and Panels Politics pollster Dr. Menachem Lazar, when he suddenly produced a new survey on what Israelis think about the American elections. Produced, but only very briefly, mentioning one or two numbers and moving on to the next subject.
As we left the studio, I asked him for more information, specifically about support for Barack Obama among Likud voters. And a couple of hours later, Menachem, being a man of his word, emailed me the relevant data. So here's what Israelis in general, Jews and non-Jews, want: They want Romney. Or, more accurately, they don’t want Obama.
But what I wanted to know was different - I wanted the percentage of Likudniks who are supportive of the president. We'll get there, but first you might be interested to know that while Israeli women favor Obama, Israeli men much prefer Romney (and that women more willingly admit that they have no opinion):
And here’s my answer to the Likud question: Only 5% of Likud voters would like to see Obama reelected.
And one should note: Centrist and leftist Israelis - voters of Kadima, Labor, Meretz, and the Arab parties - have a slight preference for Obama. There are fewer such voters and 10 of these mandates are of Arab Israelis. Arab Israelis traditionally have preference that is the opposite of what the general Jewish populations wants – for example: in 2004 Arab Israelis supported John Kerry, while a majority of Israelis supported the reelection of Bush. Considering this, a 6% advantage for Obama among them is hardly impressive.
And here’s one last table: Israeli preferences by religious intensity: Three percent for Obama among religious Israelis, both modern and ultra-Orthodox. As you can see, the more religious the group, the wider the gap in favor of Romney.
As I’ve warned many times in the past, our Israel Factor survey of experts does not necessarily reflect Israeli general opinion. The panel is more centrist and knows much more about the candidates and the issues than average Israeli.
As I explained a couple of months ago, Obama’s standing among Israelis did improve somewhat in the second half of his first term. What we see here though is this: even while Israelis don’t think Obama is as bad for Israel as they previously thought, they still prefer the other guy, who they believe will be a better, more reliable friend.
Here’s what Israelis wanted in 2004 and in 2008. As you can see, their dislike for Obama today is far greater than their dislike for him four years ago.