Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week made an impassioned case against President Obama’s terms in the nuclear negotiations with Iran. In his roughly 40-minute speech that was interrupted by bipartisan applause some 40 times by Congress, Netanyahu said the “bad deal” doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, but rather “paves the path for Iran to the bomb.”
By a 56-27 percent margin, Americans not only say it was a good idea for Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, to invite Netanyahu to speak to Congress, but 55 percent also agree with the Israeli prime minister. A 55-percent majority said it would be “a disaster” if Iran obtains the capability to use nuclear weapons, with nearly two-thirds of voters (65 percent) supporting the use of military force to stop them.
Support by party is broad — Republicans (81 percent), Democrats (54 percent) and independents (53 percent) — and only 28 percent of voters oppose the use of U.S. military force.
In response to the speech that some 55 Democrats didn’t even bother to attend, President Obama confirmed to Reuters Monday that the U.S. is, in fact, conceding to a so-called sunset provision, a term even Democrats such as New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez have opposed.
“If, in fact, Iran is willing to agree to double-digit years of keeping their program where it is right now and, in fact, rolling back elements of it that currently exist … if we’ve got that, and we’ve got a way of verifying that, there’s no other steps we can take that would give us such assurance that they don’t have a nuclear weapon.”
But American voters overwhelming — 84 percent — say a deal that simply delays Iran’s nuclear time-table by 10 years, or until the end of Obama’s tenure is a bad idea, including 80 percent of Democrats.
Interestingly, because the poll was conducted Sunday through Tuesday during the evenings, about a third of the interviewing was done after Netanyahu’s speech.
Finally, a 57-percent majority voters say the U.S. has not been aggressive enough in stopping Iran from getting nukes, while a 59-percent majority said that Barack Obama is a weak negotiator with foreign leaders, up from 54 percent measured the year prior.
Voters’s views of the country of Israel in the FOX Poll pretty much mirror the results of a recent Gallup survey, with a 58 – 25 percent margin viewing America’s closest ally positively. That’s more than can be said for either party; Democratic Party (43 vs. 50 percent); and, the GOP (41 vs. 52 percent).
Barack Obama is currently underwater with a 43 – 54 percent unfavorable balance, while Benjamin Netanyahu is above water at a 32 – 26 percent margin. More than four voters in 10 were unable to rate Netanyahu (19 percent “can’t say” and 24 percent “never heard of”).
Currently 42 percent of voters approve of the job Obama is doing as president, while 53 percent disapprove. A month ago it was 45-49 percent. A year ago it was 38-54 percent (March 2014).
The Fox News poll is conducted by telephone with live interviewers under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). The 1,011 registered voters were reached via landline and cell phone numbers randomly selected for inclusion in this nationwide survey from March 1-3, 2015. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.