Most Israelis think the next US president — whoever that may be — will be better for Israel than Barack Obama has been, and while a majority would prefer to see Democratic candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton in the White House over Republican candidate Donald Trump, most believe Trump would get along better with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a poll released on Sunday.
The survey, conducted by TNS for Channel 1 television, found 51 percent of respondents believed that any one of the current presidential candidates would be better for the Jewish state than Obama, while 26% felt there would be no change. Eight percent said the next US president would be worse than Obama and 15% said they did not know whether the US-Israel rapport would be better or worse.
Asked who they think will win the elections, 39% of respondents saw a Clinton win, 30% said Trump, with just 3% pointing to Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders and 1% each for Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Sixteen percent said they didn’t know.
As for which of the leading candidates, Trump or Clinton, would be better for Israel, 42% said Clinton, with Trump trailing behind at 34%. The rest did not have an opinion.
While a majority (68%) held a more favorable view of Clinton, more believed a president Trump would get along better with Netanyahu.
Forty-two percent of those asked said Trump and Netanyahu would have a better working relationship than Clinton and Netanyahu would. Some 32% said Clinton would work better with the Israeli leader. The remaining 26% said they did not know.
Only 14% said they held a negative view of Clinton while Trump proved a more divisive figure, with 43% of respondents holding a favorable view of him and 37% seeing him in a negative light.
Most of the respondents in the TV segment on Channel 1 that accompanied the survey used the words “show,” “theater” and “circus,” in reference to the US elections campaign.
One man called Trump “a little crazy” but said he would be good for Israel.
The TV report did not specify how many people participated in the survey or what margin of error was calculated.
Both Clinton and Trump have included supportive messages about Israel in their campaign rhetoric.
Earlier this month, Clinton declared that Israel has a right to defend itself against Gaza-based Palestinian terror group Hamas which, she said, “provokes Israel.”
In March, during a speech to the America Israel Public Affairs Committee national conference– the largest pro-Israel gathering in the US — Trump described himself as “a lifelong supporter and true friend of Israel.”
The findings of the Channel 1 poll were consistent with a survey in early March by the Israeli news website Walla which found that Israelis preferred Clinton (38%) to Trump (23%).
An Israel Democracy Institute poll in February showed that 40% of Israeli Jews thought Clinton would be better for Israel, versus 30% who said Trump.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.