For release: Wednesday, August 6, 2014
7:00 AM EDT

Conflict in the Middle East
July 29-August 4, 2014

 After a month of bloodshed, Americans are far more likely to blame Hamas (34%) than
Israel (6%) for the fighting in the region, though even more (47%) blame both sides

 President Barack Obama’s overall approval rating is 41%, and just 33% approve of his
handling of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel and Hamas

After four weeks of conflict, more Americans blame Hamas than Israel for the recent fighting
that has erupted. 34% think Hamas is most to blame, while just 6% lay most of the blame on
Israel. However, nearly half – 47% - think both sides are equally to blame.

Most Republicans (54%) lay the blame on Hamas, while Democrats and independents are more
likely to blame both sides equally.

Who is Most to Blame for the Fighting Between Israel and Hamas?
Total Reps Dems Inds
Hamas 34% 54% 24% 32%
Israel 6 2 10 6
Both equally 47 35 55 48

Assessing the President’s Job Performance

Americans are critical of how President Obama has been responding to this conflict. 50% of
Americans disapprove of how the President is handling the situation between Israel and the
Palestinians, while just 33% approve. Most Democrats (56%) approve of how the President is
handling the situation, and most Republicans (71%) and independents (53%) disapprove.

President Obama’s Handling of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Total Reps Dems Inds
Approve 33% 15% 56% 29%
Disapprove 50 71 30 53

Overall, President Obama continues to receive a negative job approval rating. 41% of
Americans approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing as President while 50% disapprove, numbers
that have changed little since earlier in the year.

President Obama’s Job Rating
Now 6/2014 2/2014 1/2014 12/2013
Approve 41% 40% 41% 46% 42%
Disapprove 50 54 51 47 50


This poll was conducted by telephone from July 29 - August 4, 2014 among 1,344 adults nationwide.
Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Media, PA. Phone numbers were
dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

Additional interviews were conducted with Hispanics (for use in future analysis), to yield a sample size of
426. The Hispanic oversample consisted of callbacks to Hispanic respondents who had previously
completed a survey as part of a random sample, and interviews with respondents whose telephone
numbers were likely to fall in high-incidence Hispanic areas on landline exchanges and cell phone rate

The weighting of the Hispanic sample consisted of non-response corrections for the callback numbers (to
account for systematic differences between those completing and those not completing the callback
interview), and a weighting adjustment to ensure that Hispanics in high-incidence areas were not
overrepresented in the data.

The Hispanic and non-Hispanic samples were weighted separately to match their group’s population
characteristics such as gender, age, education, region, marital status and phone use based on recent
U.S. Census estimates. The samples were then combined in proportion to their size in the population,
and weighted to standard parameters of the total U.S. adult population.

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage
points. The error for subgroups may be higher. The margin of error for the sample of Hispanics is 6 pts
and 4 pts for Non-Hispanics. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. This poll release
conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.


Conflict in the Middle East
July 29 – August 4, 2014

Q1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?

Total Rep Dem Ind Jun14d
% % % % %
Approve 41 8 74 36 40
Disapprove 50 86 20 50 54
Don't know/No answer 10 6 6 14 6


Q8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation between Israel and the

Approve 33 15 56 29
Disapprove 50 71 30 53
Don't know/No answer 16 14 15 18


Q60. Who do you think is mostly to blame for the current fighting between Israel and Hamas --mostly Israel, mostly
Hamas, or both sides equally?

Israel 6 2 10 6
Hamas 34 54 24 32
Both equally 47 35 55 48
Other nation (vol.) * * * 1
Don't know/No answer 12 9 11 13

Unweighted Weighted
Total Respondents 1,344

Total Republicans 307 299
Total Democrats 412 377
Total Independents 625 668

Margin of error: 3pts

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