Evangelicals are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strongest supporters among the US public, according to a new survey.
The Pew Research Center released a report on Monday on Americans’ perspectives on world leaders showing which foreign leaders Americans had confidence in.
At the top of the list was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who garnered the most positive ratings, with 38% of Americans saying they have some confidence that he would “do the right thing regarding world affairs.” An additional 18% expressed a lot of confidence in Zelensky. At the bottom of the list was Chinese President Xi Jinping who earned the confidence of fewer than one in ten Americans (8%), and Russian President Vladimir Putin who earned even less (7%).
In the middle of the pack was Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Despite serving as Israel’s leader for over 15 years, 26% of the respondents claimed not to have heard of Netanyahu.
Of those Americans who have heard of Netanyahu, 42% have no confidence in him, while 32% have confidence.
These results present a clearly partisan split with Republicans more likely (49%) than Democrats (17%) to have confidence in Netanyahu. The divide becomes even greater when ideology is considered. Six-in-ten conservative Republicans have confidence in the Israeli prime minister, compared with three-in-ten moderate and liberal Republicans. Among Democrats, around a quarter of conservatives and moderates (24%) have a positive view of Netanyahu, compared with only one-in-ten liberal Democrats.
Younger Republicans (ages 18 to 49) are less positive about Netanyahu than their older counterparts. Three in ten Republicans in this age group have confidence in Netanyahu. Some 35% of younger Republicans say they have never heard of the Israeli PM. This compares to 66% of Republicans ages 50 and older who have confidence in Netanyahu.
Netanyahu has strong support among evangelicals with 53% expressing confidence in him. This compares to 32% of religiously unaffiliated Americans who have never heard of Netanyahu. Of those unaffiliated who have heard of him, only 17% have confidence in him.
There were not enough Jewish Americans in the sample to report results separately.
This survey is comparable to a 2019 Gallup Poll in which 40% of Americans said they had a favorable view of Netanyahu. 65% of Republican respondents viewed Netanyahu favorably, as compared with 18% of Democrats. At the time, one-third of the respondents said they had never heard of Netanyahu. This represented a drop in Netanyahu’s popularity as a similar poll in 2017 reported that nearly half of US adults viewed him favorably.
These results indicate that the Israeli leader’s popularity among Americans is dropping, even among Republicans.