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Poll: Nearly half of Americans dislike Netanyahu invite

Roughly 1 in 2 Americans do not support Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress, according to a new poll.

{mosads}Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said Boehner should have notified President Obama of his invitation first, according to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, which was released on Sunday.

The results come amid rising tensions between the Obama administration and Netanyahu. The foreign dignitary will address a joint session of Congress on Tuesday on the Iranian nuclear threat.

By contrast, 30 percent believe Boehner’s gesture was appropriate, while another 22 percent did not feel informed enough to answer.

The poll also reveals partisan divides over Netanyahu’s visit. It found that 66 percent of Democrats dislike his appearance, while 28 percent of Republicans responded that way.

The survey also concluded Netanyahu’s popularity has improved since last year. The foreign leader currently has a 30 percent positive rating and a 19 percent negative rating.

Those numbers are up from 24 percent positive, and 15 percent negative, in 2014.

Voter opinions of Netanyahu also break down along party lines. Among Republicans, 49 percent view him favorably. Only 12 percent of Democrats share that opinion, the survey found.

Netanyahu will also meet privately with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) after addressing Congress on Tuesday.

On Monday evening, the Israeli prime minister will speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference. President Obama will not attend the event, nor will Vice President Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry.

The NBC/WSJ poll of 800 registered voters from Feb. 25-28 has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Israel

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