CBS News poll: Rising numbers of Americans say Biden should encourage Israel to stop Gaza actions


A growing number of Americans want Joe Biden to encourage Israel to stop military actions in Gaza; and Mr. Biden's handling of the situation has now sunk to its lowest levels yet.

In the survey, done before Iran's drone and missile attack in Israel, there was little clamor among the American public for American military action against Iran, should Iran attack Israel. Rather, the US would support Israel's next actions.

Mr. Biden faces particular pressure within his own party regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict, where Democrats are also showing increasing sympathy for the Palestinian people, along with the Israelis; and Mr. Biden's handling has also been particularly successful among younger Americans.



Many sympathize with both the Israeli people and the Palestinian people, but the percentage of Democrats who also say they sympathize a lot with the Palestinian people has increased since last fall.


The overwhelming majority of Americans across party lines say they sympathize at least somewhat with the Israeli people. But the percentage of “very” supporters is much lower than it used to be Octoberright after the terrorist attacks by Hamas.


And compared to last October, fewer Democrats and independents today say the US should send arms and supplies to Israel. That view remains a steady majority among Republicans.



And there has been an increase in those who say they should send humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, but most Republicans still oppose it.

Half of the country believes the threat of terrorism to both Israel and Americans will increase as a result of the conflict.


Another potential problem for the president: Most Americans don't believe the US government is doing everything it can to bring American hostages home.


Finally, to emphasize the importance of all of this: Most say that how this matter is handled reflects on many things, including US morals and principles, as well as its strategic and security interests.


Biden's overall approval rating is declining among younger Americans

But having said that, politically, for the president it is still the economy that matters relatively more. For Democrats, and independents as well, Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict is not as closely related to his overall job approval as views of his handling of the US economy.

That is, people are more likely to disapprove of Mr. Biden overall if they think he is not handling the economy well than if they think he is not handling the conflict well.

And that, in turn, isn't great news for him either. At the heels of the latest inflation report, and the stock market crash that followed, months-long optimism about the economy has stalled for now. Views are still in the mid-30s after rising regularly over the winter. And the percentage of Americans who expect economic growth has also stabilized.


Also, when asked why that is, most Americans who think things are not going well at home say it's the economy, rather than wars and events abroad.


Mr. Biden's overall approval rating remains in a narrow range, the low 40s, about where it has been for some time.


Although he makes up for it somewhat elsewhere, his approval rating among younger people is low.

And there has been a falling out between them over how Mr. Biden is handling the Israel-Hamas conflict.


This CBS News/YouGov poll was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,399 adult US residents interviewed between April 9 and 12, 2024. The sample was weighted by gender, age, race and education according to the US Census' American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as past voting. The margin of error is ±2.6 points.



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