Poll: Israel votes McCain in US elections
Survey finds 46% of Israelis would vote for Republican nominee if given chance to elect US president; Democrat Barack Obama receives 34% of votes. Almost half of those polled believe McCain would better impact Jewish state
Israel chooses John McCain over Barack Obama in the US presidential elections, a survey conducted by the TNS Teleseker polling agency found.
The Republican nominee defeated his Democratic opponent by a margin of over 12% among the adult Jewish population in the State.
Ynet obtained the results of the poll, ordered by the Rabin Center for Israel Studies and conducted among 500 Israelis aged 18-65, in preparation for a special debate on the US elections and their repercussions on the country's foreign policy in the Middle East, to take place Monday.
The survey found that given the right to vote in the US, 46.4% of Israelis would vote for the Republican nominee, John McCain. Thirty-four percent would vote for Democratic nominee Barack Obama, and 18.6% remain undecided.
Almost half of those polled (48.6%) believe McCain would better impact Israel, while 31.5% thought the country would better benefit from Obama's leadership. Just over 5% believe the candidates would have the same effect on Israel, while 14.2% remain undecided.
The poll found McCain to be Israel's best bet concerning Iran as well. Over half (52.5%) believe he possesses the skills needed to deal with the security threat the country poses to Israel, more so than Obama, who has gained the confidence of just 27.6% of those polled.
However, the Democratic candidate did better on the issue of finance, with 40.9% saying they thought he was better equipped to handle the current global crisis than McCain, who received 34.2% of votes.
The two presidential nominees were equally ranked regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict, with 37.3% saying McCain would better handle the situation and 37% choosing Obama as the better candidate. Fifteen percent remain undecided, while 10.5% said the two were equally capable.
In good company? Georgia prefers McCain
Alon Pinkas, the former consul general of Israel in New York who currently heads the Rabin Center's institute for Israel-US relations, explained the results of the poll. "What we see here is a significant difference in positions between Jews in the US and Jews in Israel," he said.
"Israel is one of just three countries that prefer McCain over Obama. The other two are Georgia and the Philippines," Pinkas added.
Another trend indicated by the poll is the growing concern over Israel's relations with the European Union. When asked about the importance of the State's relationships with countries worldwide the US was ranked most important, with a 98.2% rating.
The EU was not far behind however, as 92.2% of those polled said they believed relations with the world superpower are significant to Israel's prosperity. Relations with Russia were ranked important by 86.3%, similarly to China, with which relations were significant to 84% of those polled. Relations with India received a rating of 65.3%.