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CBS News

December 10, 2023


CBS commissioned YouGov USA to conduct a national poll on opinions about the handling of the conflict, with specific emphasis on the split between Democrats, Independents and Republicans.


This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,144 U.S. adult residents interviewed between December 6-8, 2023. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as past vote. The margin of error is ±2.8 points.


We will focus here on the questions specifically related to the war in Gaza.

The Details

1. Over 60% of all Americans disapprove of the way Biden is handling the conflict, but 63% of Democrats approve.

In October, 44% of Americans approved of Biden’s handling of the conflict, and 56% disapproved. In December, the numbers dropped to 39% of Americans approving and 61% disapproving of Biden in this respect. Amongst Democrats, in December, 63% think Biden is handling the conflict well (down only 3 points from October).

2. Most Americans still think Biden is showing the right amount of support toward Israel, including most Democrats (although less so than in October).

In December 31% of Americans think Biden is showing too much support for Israel, 28% think he’s not showing enough support, and 41% think he’s showing the right amount of support for Israel (for a total of 69% on Israel’s side). Amongst Democrats, 62% think Biden is showing the right amount (54%) or too much support (8%).

Key Takeaways

When looking at approval ratings of Biden’s handling of the conflict, it’s important to check the numbers amongst Biden’s obvious and potential supporters – Democrats and Liberals. We see that a deeper dive into the numbers reveals that while the numbers do not bode well for Biden’s support in relation to the conflict, his natural voting public are still with him.

While the numbers are still fine, we should be concerned about the downward trend in support for Biden’s actions, statements and overall general approval of how he’s handling the conflict. This is a natural evolution of the situation, there should be little expectation that the support the Biden administration gave Israel unequivocally in October would last into December. But we should pay attention and perhaps now double down Israel’s advocacy efforts towards his natural supporters, rather than the general public as a whole. This is especially important because campaigning for elections will begin soon and Biden will be more sensitive to the public’s position.

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