Americans are split over Israel's response in its war with Hamas
Americans are split over whether Israel's response has been too much or about right in response to Hamas' Oct. 7 attack — with a majority of Democrats now saying it's been too much, according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.
The results were driven by people of color and younger respondents, who were far more likely than others to say Israel has gone too far, and said their sympathies lie more with the Palestinians than Israelis.
There are also clear divides on whether to fund both the Israel and Ukraine wars or to fund neither, and whether the U.S. should take a leadership role in the world at all. Again, younger Americans and nonwhites — as well as majorities of independents and Republicans — say the U.S. should focus more on problems at home.
When it comes to Congress and its sprint to fund the government by Friday, the survey found that new House Speaker Mike Johnson is largely unknown, but respondents said he should compromise with Democrats. Republicans, however, are split on whether that should be the case.
Big majorities said it's not appropriate to use the threat of a shutdown as leverage during budget negotiations. Republicans, though, were more than twice as likely than Democrats to say use it. If the government does shut down, Republicans are more likely to get the blame, the poll found.
Split over Israel's response
Israel has responded to Hamas' attack with as massive show of force that has killed more than 11,000 people, according to Palestinian officials, the vast majority of them civilians.
The poll found Americans divided over Israel's military actions. Thirty-eight percent said the Israeli response has been too much, while an equal number said it's been "about right."
The number of people who said the response has gone too far is up 12 points from a month ago.
A majority of Democrats now say the response has been too much.
There are big racial and generational divides.
"Too much" aligns with pro-Biden groups.
"About right" lines up with pro-Trump groups.
Americans' sympathies overall lie with Israel in this conflict, but Democrats are split
By a 61%-30% margin, respondents said their sympathies lie more with Israelis than Palestinians, but that's driven by Republicans (79%) and independents (67%), who overwhelmingly support Israel.
Democrats are split, 45%-45%.
Again, there are big racial and generational divides.
There is great concern over the war leading to hate crimes in the U.S.
There's a divide over whether to fund both Israel's and Ukraine's wars — or neither
Some 36% said they don't want to authorize funding for either war, fueled by independents (49%) and Republicans (40%).
Independent women were the most likely to say fund neither war (58%), 17 points higher than men who identified as politically independent.
About an equal share — 35% — said they wanted to fund both wars, another 14% only want to provide funding to Israel and 12% only to Ukraine.
There was a big age and racial gap here, too.
Older voters and college-educated women were most likely to say fund both.
All of this tracks with how people feel about America's role in the world
There were big splits over whether United States should continue to play a leadership role in the world. The divides were again most acute by party, race and age.
Lack of confidence in Biden is clear
When it comes to the Israel-Hamas war, 55% said they disapprove of Biden's handling of it, 3 points worse than last month.
Overall, Biden's job approval rating is languishing at just 42%.
That cynicism extends beyond Biden, though.
Democrats will feel good about the fact that people think they're more unified than Republicans by a 60%-27% margin.
Shutdown politics: people say they want compromise
Newly minted Speaker Mike Johnson is still not well-known — 46% say they don't know who he is or are unsure what to think.
But by a huge margin — 67% to 27% — respondents said they think it's more important for Johnson to compromise rather than stand on principle even if it means gridlock.
Three-quarters say it's not acceptable to threaten a shutdown to achieve their goals in a budget negotiation by a 75%-23% margin.
If the government shuts down, Republicans would get more of the blame.
Parties share responsibility for the national debt, respondents say.
Methodology: The survey of 1,429 adults was conducted Nov. 6-9 by the Marist Poll by phone, both cell phones and landlines using live interviewers, by text or online in both English and Spanish. The margin of error is + or - 3.4 percentage points, meaning results could be about 3 points lower or higher.
Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.