Support for US Aid to Israel Plummets Among Swing-State Voters

(Bloomberg) -- Support among swing-state voters for US aid to Israel has plunged in the months since the country launched its campaign to root out Hamas in the Gaza Strip, according to the latest Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll.

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Fifty-one percent of registered voters in the seven states that will decide the 2024 presidential election said they either strongly or somewhat support aid to Israel, the poll found. That’s down 10 percentage points from November, when 61% of respondents said they supported the aid.

The drop tracks with growing anger in the US about Israel’s military campaign against Hamas, labeled a terrorist group by the US and the European Union, in the months since its militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7 and killed some 1,200 people. More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of Israel’s campaign, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza. The war also has sparked a grave humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

The poll was conducted from April 8 through 15, before the latest flareup in pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses including Harvard, Columbia, Yale and New York University. On Thursday, Columbia University’s governing body backed President Nemat Shafik amid escalating demands for her resignation, spurred by her handling of student-led protests over the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The poll surveyed registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The latest results present a tricky calculus for President Joe Biden, who says the US commitment to Israel’s defense is “ironclad” and has so far refused to consider placing conditions on US military aid despite pressure from some congressional Democrats. At the same time, he’s pressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do more to protect civilians.

Biden’s team has also sought to reach out to Arab and Muslim communities in Michigan, a critical battleground state, over his handling of the war.

Earlier: Biden Team to Meet Michigan Arab, Muslim Leaders Amid Tension

On Wednesday, Biden signed a long-delayed $95 billion national security package that includes $26 billion in aid for Israel and $1 billion in humanitarian aid for Gaza. After signing the package, Biden said Israel “must make sure all this aid reaches the Palestinians in Gaza without delay.”

(Updates effects of campus protests in fourth paragraph. A previous version of this story had incorrect figures for the previous level of support and the percentage decrease)

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