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26% Support Elevated Status of Palestine, 38% Say It Will Hurt Israeli Peace Talks

The Obama administration is trying to avoid a vote at the United Nations next week that would elevate the status of the Palestinian Authority from a nonvoting “observer entity” to “observer state” for fear it would harm Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and incite violence in the region. A plurality of Likely Voters nationwide agrees that recognizing Palestine as a new nation would hurt its peace talks with Israel, but voters are also fairly undecided as to whether they think the UN should grant Palestine that independence.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that just 26% believe the United Nations should recognize Palestine as a new nation and grant it full membership in the UN, while 34% are opposed. However, 40% of voters are undecided on the issue. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Back in June 2009, 57% of voters said Israel should be required to accept the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a Middle Eastern peace agreement. Just 20% disagreed. 

A plurality of voters (38%) agrees that recognizing Palestine as a separate nation would hurt the ongoing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Only 23% think the decision would help peace talks in the region, while 11% say it would have no impact. Another 28% are not sure.

Voters are divided on whether the U.S. should reduce financial contributions to the UN if it votes for Palestinian statehood: 35% say the United States should reduce funding, while 34% disagree. Another 31% are undecided.

But most voters (53%) oppose the United States ending its membership in the UN if it recognizes Palestine as a separate state. Twenty-one percent (21%) support the United States leaving the organization if it votes for Palestinian statehood, while another 26% aren’t sure.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 12-13, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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