Is Clinton better for Israel than Trump?

With just four days to go until the American election, a new poll published Friday indicates that a clear majority of Israelis prefer Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over Republican rival Donald Trump.

Of the 500 respondents of the Rafi Smith Institute survey, 49 percent considered the former secretary of state the better candidate, while just 32% preferred Trump, Israel Radio reported.

Nineteen percent of participants didn’t express a preference.

The poll indicated that respondents who vote for right-wing parties in Israel tended to back the GOP’s candidate. Only 39% of Likud voters expressed a preference for Clinton, compared to 44% for Trump. Over 50% of Jewish Home party voters polled said they preferred Trump, whereas just over 30% said they preferred Clinton as the next US president.

In the political center there was clear preference of Clinton over Trump: 84% of center-left Zionist Union voters and 58% of the center-right Yesh Atid party voters backed the Democrat, compared to just 7% and 23% for Trump, respectively.

The findings were published a day after an “exit survey” by I Vote Israelindicated a slight preference for Trump — 49% to Clinton’s 44% among the 1,140 Israeli-Americans polled who had already cast their votes.

Another poll published by Israel Radio found that the governing coalition in Israel would likely remain in power if elections were held today, but the two largest parties, Likud and Zionist Union, would both lose ground. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud was projected to drop from 30 seats to 26, and the main opposition party Zionist Union plummeted from 24 to just 13 in the new poll.

Many of the seats lost by the bigger parties would be gobbled up by the centrist Yesh Atid, which was indicated to skyrocket from its present 11 seats to 21. Other improvers would be religious-nationalist Jewish Home party, which would win 12 seats — four more than it took in 2015 — and the Yisrael Beytenu party would win eight seats, two more than its current six.

The poll gave Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party seven seats, down from the 10 it took in its first appearance on the political scene. The ultra-Orthodox Shas party and United Torah Judaism would each take seven. Meretz was projected to remain unchanged at six seats.

The Joint (Arab) List would receive 13 seats, as it did in the last elections.

Netanyahu has served as prime minister since 2009, winning three straight elections. While elections aren’t scheduled until 2019, some analysts predict Netanyahu’s shaky coalition of 67 seats may fall before then.

A survey conducted in September by Machon Midgam indicated that the Yesh Atid party would claim 24 Knesset seats, many of them at the expense of left-wing parties, while Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party would take just 22 seats, bleeding several seats to factions further to the right.


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