Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah Netanyahu depart from Ben Gurion Airport on March 1, 2015. Netanyahu will visit Washington on March 3 to attend US congress.
Photo by Israeli Prime Ministry Press Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Nearly half of US voters: Netanyahu invite shouldn’t have happened

Nearly half of American voters – 48% – say that congressional Republicans should not have invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on Tuesday without first notifying President Barack Obama, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

By contrast 30% believe the invitation was fine, and another 22% don’t know enough to say either way.

Not surprisingly, the issue breaks along partisan lines, with 66% of Democrats saying Republicans shouldn’t have invited Netanyahu without first notifying the president, compared with just 28% of Republicans who say that.

Israel remains popular with Americans, the poll also finds. Forty-seven percent of voters view it positively, versus 17% who have a negative reaction.

And Netanyahu has a 30% positive/17% negative rating in the poll – up from 24% positive/15% negative a year ago.

Yet once again, that largely breaks along partisan lines, with 49% of GOP voters holding a positive opinion of Netanyahu, versus just 12% of Democrats.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Feb. 25-28 of 800 registered voters (240 by cell phone), and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.5 percentage points.

Benjamin Netanyahu

Nearly half of US voters: Netanyahu invite shouldn't have happened