Only about a third of Americans polled approve of the Biden administration’s response to the Israel-Hamas war, according to a Pew Research Center survey published Friday.
Among Republican respondents, 51 percent disapprove of the administration’s response, while 28 percent approve. Democrats polled are more split: 44 percent approve, 33 percent disapprove and 22 percent are not sure.
That’s an ominous sign for President Joe Biden heading into the election year. The conflict, which began in early October after the Hamas militant group mounted a deadly surprise attack on Israeli soil, has quickly emerged as one of the biggest foreign policy challenges for the Biden administration.
Divisions on the war are also generational, with younger people expressing deep skepticism of Biden’s response. Respondents under 30 years old were most critical of Biden of all groups: Just 19 percent approved of the White House’s response, while 46 percent disapproved. Older generations were generally less negative in the poll.
That tracks with an increasingly sympathetic sentiment toward Palestinians among young people. About 1,200 Israelis were killed in the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, while some 17,000 Palestinians have been killed and nearly two million internally displaced due to Israel’s retaliatory attacks.
The poll was conducted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 and includes responses from 5,203 adults across the country who took self-administered online surveys. Its margin of error for the full sample size was plus-or-minus 1.8 percentage points.