Good news for Moshe Kahlon: a Channel 2 news poll published Thursday found that the Kulanu party head was the candidate most favored by Israelis to handle economic and social issues.
The poll, conducted by the Midgam polling firm among 400 respondents, found that 29% of respondents believed Kahlon was most suited to handle and solve Israel’s housing crisis, placing far ahead of the second-place candidate, Yesh Atid leader and former finance minister Yair Lapid at 12.4%. Zionist Camp’s Isaac Herzog was third at 9.2%, followed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at 7% and Jewish Home chief Naftali Bennett at 5.5%. Over one-quarter of respondents, 27.2%, did not have a preference.
On the broader question of the cost of living, Kahlon again came in top of the names polled. Kahlon got 29.3%, Herzog 13.5%, Lapid 12.4%, Netanyahu 6.8% and Bennett 6.2%.
The final question asked respondents’ preference for the post of finance minister in the new government that will be formed after the March 17 elections. Kahlon topped the list with 18.9%, slightly ahead of the center-left Zionist Camp’s candidate for the position, economist Manuel Trajtenberg, who took 17.6%. Former Likud finance minister Yuval Steinitz came in third with 7.9%, and the immediate past finance minister Lapid fourth with 7.6%. Former Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich won 7.4%, and Netanyahu 7.3%.
The survey’s margin of error was not reported.
Thursday’s poll results echoed another survey conducted late last month which found that a majority of Israelis rank the cost of living and social issues as the foremost factor driving their voting decisions in the upcoming elections, and that a plurality believe Kahlon is the candidate best suited to tackle these problems.
More than half (53%) of respondents said the cost of living and other economic issues were a higher priority than Israel’s security challenges. And when it came to social issues, Kahlon led the pack with 31%, followed by Herzog (21%), Bennett (14%), and Lapid (11%). Netanyahu won the fewest votes with just 10% of respondents selecting him as best suited to deal with those issues.
But the order was reversed when respondents were asked about security issues. One-quarter (24%) placed security as the top priority in the elections. When asked about security issues, Netanyahu placed far ahead of other candidates, at 39%. He was followed by Herzog at 22%, Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman at 16%, Bennett at 15%, Lapid at 4% and Kahlon at last place with 3%.
Just nine percent of respondents said the peace process or issues of religion and state were most important.