Polling juggernaut Quinnipiac University has released an interesting new poll. QU asked 1,080 American voters to rate each of these countries on a scale of 0 -100 according to "how friendly or unfriendly do you think" each nation or group is to the U.S. These are the mean scores:
"The changes since our last poll show that the recent fighting in the Middle East has strengthened Americans' view that Israel is a friend to the U.S. and that Iran, Syria and the Palestinians are not," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The biggest change toward Israel has been among political independents."
Israel's support in the U.S. is stronger among Republicans (70.9) and independents (68.1) than among Democrats (60) and among men (71.9) than women (60.5).
In other findings, approval of the Palestinian Authority dropped from 25.0 to 22.8; Iran fell from 16.9 to 13.9; Syria, which was not previously polled on, scored third worst overall at 21.7. In each case, Democrats and women view those countries marginally more favorably than Republicans, independents or men. Additionally, Saudi Arabia, which condemned the original Hezbollah attack, dropped from 39.5 in June to 38.2.
"Although the changes in each case are modest, together it is reasonable to assume that they show the recent fighting increased Americans' sympathies toward Israel and increased the animosity in the United States toward Israel's enemies," said Brown.
There was also a new Harris Interactive poll released today that shows Americans view Israel and a friendly country and Iran as an enemy. The online poll of 3,685 adults measured American attitudes towards Turkey, Afghanistan and 11 others countries in the Middle East as well as attitudes toward eight leaders and organizations in the region.
Three-quarters of U.S. adults identify Israel as either a close ally or "a friend, but not an ally," compared with 16% who see the nation as "not friendly, but not an enemy" and 8% who see it as "unfriendly and an enemy."
By comparison, 76% of those polled view Iran as an enemy, while 21% see the country as not friendly, and only 4% view it as a close ally or friend. The region's other governments least likely to be seen as either an ally or friend were Syria (8%), Libya (12%), Lebanon (15%) and Iraq (18%).
As far as views of leaders in the region go, Israeli PM Ehud Olmert is viewed most positively by Americans (49%). Olmert was followed by King Abdallah of Jordan (44%), Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (37%), Lebanese PM Fouad Siniora (31%), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (25%), the Palestinian Authority (23%), Hamas (17%) and Hezbollah (14%).