November 9, 2023
Sixty-one percent of the public disapprove of President Biden’s overall job performance and 63% disapprove of how he is handling the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Even among his own party, Biden does not garner overwhelming support – 50% of Democrats approve of his handling of the conflict and 46% of Democrats disapprove. Democrats who disapprove are more likely than those who approve to feel Israel has a great deal of responsibility for the war and to feel the U.S. is being too supportive of Israel.
Views of Biden’s job performance are highly partisan. Overall, 38% approve of Biden’s job performance, including 69% of Democrats and only 5% of Republicans. Sixty-one percent disapprove of how he is handling his job, including 30% of Democrats and 94% of Republicans.
Biden receives low marks in his handling of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Sixty-three percent disapprove of his efforts, including 46% of Democrats and 80% of Republicans.
Nearly half of adults say the U.S. should take a less active role in foreign affairs, while 18% advocate for a more active role and 36% are content with the current role.
While Republicans are more inclined toward a less active role compared to Democrats (54% vs. 35%), it is worth noting that Democrats have shown a marked shift in opinion. Since September 2023, the percentage of Democrats advocating for a more restrained approach has risen from 15% to 35%.
Furthermore, among Democrats who disapprove of Biden’s handling of the conflict, 60% say the U.S. should take a less active role in solving the world’s problems compared to 14% of Democrats content with Biden’s efforts.
Ratings among Democrats of Biden’s efforts in the ongoing conflict are related to opinions regarding U.S. involvement. Sixty-five percent of Democrats who disapprove say the United States is too supportive of the Israelis and 58% say it is not supportive enough of the Palestinians.
Democrats who disapprove of Biden’s handling of the conflict are also more inclined to feel the U.S. government is spending too much on aid to Israel (70% vs. 28%) and too little on humanitarian relief to Palestine (50% vs. 31%) compared to Democrats who approve.
Among Democrats who disapprove of Biden’s handling of the conflict, 56% say the Israeli government has a lot of responsibility while only 32% of those who approve of Biden’s efforts say the same. A similar proportion of Democratic disapprovers (55%) say the Palestinian group Hamas holds a lot of the responsibility, while 76% of those who approve of Biden think Hamas has a lot of responsibility for the war.
Views of how Biden is handling of the economy and the direction of the country also remain highly partisan. A third of adults approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, including 60% of Democrats and only 6% of Republicans. Eighty-one percent of adults say the country is headed in the wrong direction, including 70% of Democrats and 94% of Republicans.
A majority of both Republicans and Democrats say the government spends too little on social services. However, Republicans are more likely to say we spend too little on the military whereas Democrats are more inclined to feel we spend too much.
The nationwide poll was conducted November 2-6, 2023 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,239 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.9 percentage points.
- Citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (November 2023). “Many Democrats sour on Biden’s handling of the Israel-Palestine conflict.” https://apnorc.org/projects/many-democrats-sour-on-bidens-handling-of-the-israel-palestine-conflict/