AP-NORC Poll: 42% of Democrats Disapprove of President Biden’s Handling of Israel-Hamas Conflict

WASHINGTON (AP) — According to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, nearly half of Democrats disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict — highlighting a deep divide within his party over the war.

The poll found that 50% of Democrats approve of Biden’s approach to the conflict while 46% disapprove. The two camps hold substantially different views on U.S. support for Israel. Biden’s support among Democrats has decreased slightly from August, when 57% of them approved of his handling of the conflict and 40% disapproved.

The Oct. 7 Hamas attack, which killed more than 1,400 people, and Israel’s subsequent incursion into Gaza have put Biden in a politically precarious position. The war could complicate his reelection effort, as he tries to balance factions of his party with different views on the crisis.

While the majority of Democrats who approve of Biden’s management of the conflict believe the U.S. is providing the right amount of support to Israel, those who disapprove think the U.S. support is overly favorable to Israel. This gap has widened significantly since the poll conducted in August.

The poll’s findings reveal that younger Democrats and nonwhite Democrats are more likely to disapprove of Biden’s handling of the conflict, while older Democrats and white Democrats are generally in favor.

The conflict seems to have elicited strong opinions from people across the political spectrum. For example, some Jews in South Florida have lauded Biden’s support for Israel, while well-known Democrats and members of large Arab and Muslim populations in Michigan and Minnesota have spoken out against him.

Regarding the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, about 4 in 10 Democrats, including Biden’s ardent backers and his critics, favor such a solution, although they acknowledge the practical difficulties involved. However, Biden, like his predecessors, has endorsed a “two-state solution”, but no American administration has made genuine strides toward such an accord.

As Biden navigates the war abroad and delicate politics at home, he may be left to hope that his Democratic critics are more like Peter Bennett, a 72-year-old from California who said he disapproved of Biden’s handling of the conflict and felt there was a “knee-jerk Israel-first perception in American politics.” Yet, Bennett clarified that he would still prefer Biden over a choice between him and Donald Trump.


The poll of 1,239 adults was conducted Nov. 2-6, 2023, using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.



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