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Poll: Netanyahu support wanes after speech

A new poll released on Tuesday shows American support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has faded after his controversial congressional address on March 3.

The latest Gallup survey shows Netanyahu with a 38 percent favorability rating, down 7 percentage points from a similar poll in February. And his unfavorability rating is higher, up 5 percentage points to 29 percent in the same time period.

{mosads}Thirty-three percent did not have an opinion on Netanyahu, roughly the same amount as in February.

Netanyahu’s latest rating was based on research conducted March 5-8. It found his speech especially alienated Democrats, with only 17 percent now viewing him positively, a 15-point decline from February.

In addition, more Democrats now view the prime minister unfavorably. Forty-six percent said they saw Netanyahu negatively, up 14 points from last month.

Republicans, meanwhile, are more steadfast in their support. Sixty-two percent hold Netanyahu favorably, up 2 points from 60 percent in February, while his GOP unfavorability rating fell 1 point to 16 percent.

Gallup’s findings follow a diplomatic fracas over Netanyahu’s visit. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) ignited outrage by inviting the Israeli leader without White House input. More than 50 Democrats then boycotted the event in protest.

President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry were also absent from Netanyahu’s address. Obama has since called the speech “nothing new” and lacking a “viable alternative” to his Iran strategy.

Obama and Netanyahu are at odds over dealing with Tehran. The White House believes peaceful negotiations are possible for preventing an Iran with nuclear weapons. Jerusalem, meanwhile, sees Iran as untrustworthy and a global danger.

The GOP further complicated measures with an open letter to Iran on Monday. In it, 47 Senators vow to review any deal between Washington and Tehran. The Obama administration is racing to a self-imposed March 31 deadline for a tentative agreement with Iran.

Gallup’s findings are based on telephone interviews of 1,025 adults, aged 18 or older, in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Netanyahu’s visit also came amid a tough reelection battle at home.

A survey released Wednesday by Israel’s Army Radio found Israelis believe opposition leader Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union is expected to take more seats in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, than Netanyahu’s Likud party, potentially booting him from power.

Israeli voters will decide the Knesset’s makeup on Tuesday.

Tags Boehner John Boehner John Kerry

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