8/3: Americans Not Optimistic About Middle East Peace; Polarized Electorate for 2014 Agrees on Do Nothing Congress

Americans are not confident a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians is in the foreseeable future.  Although Republicans are more likely than Democrats to doubt a settlement can be reached, a majority of Americans, regardless of party, are not encouraged.  There is also a greater consensus among Republicans in their support for Israel.  About four in ten Democrats and independents also sympathize with the Israelis over the Palestinians, but the plurality of each of these groups is not sure with which side they have more empathy.

Click Here for Complete August 3, 2014 USA NBC News/The Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release and Tables

When it comes to an assessment of the accomplishments of the current Congress, most Americans agree, regardless of party, that Congress has come up short.  More than seven in ten believe this year’s congressional output has been abysmal.  Nearly half of Americans describe the session as having been very unproductive.  Partisan lines are quickly drawn though when people are asked about their hopes for the results of this fall’s elections.  Democrats and Republicans each hope their respective party will control both the House and Senate.

Poll Points:  Middle East

Poll Points:  Congress

  • 72% of Americans believe Congress has been unproductive this year including 47% who describe their work as very unproductive.  23% characterize it as productive including only 3% who view their accomplishments as very productive.
  • This low opinion of Congress cuts across partisan lines.  77% of independents, 73% of Republicans, and 71% of Democrats give Congress a thumbs down.
  • However, partisanship resurfaces when Americans express their hopes for the outcome of the 2014 elections.  Overall, Americans split, 42% Democrats to 41% Republicans, as to whom they want to emerge with the majority in Congress next term.  85% of Democrats and 92% of Republicans want their respective party to win the majority.  Independents lean Republican 38% to 34%.
  • Americans divide along similar lines when expressing their wishes for the results of the U.S. Senate.  43% want the Democrats to hold the majority and 42% want Republicans to control the Senate.  Again, party differences are stark.  83% of Democrats want their party to hold the Senate, and 94% of Republicans want their party to take over the chamber.  Independents evenly divide, 38% to 38%.
  • In both instances, independents are most undecided about which party they favor.  However, about one in ten Democrats are also unsure about which party they want to see control each chamber. Fewer Republicans are uncertain.

Marist Poll Methodology
Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables