- The Washington Times - Friday, March 6, 2015

That speech before Congress may have worked: More U.S. voters appear to support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s tougher approach over President Obama’s more conciliatory strategy when it comes to negotiations with Iran.

A Rasmussen Reports poll released Friday found 45 percent of likely voters agreed with Mr. Netanyahu’s statement during his Tuesday speech that “if the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran, that deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It will all but guarantee that Iran will get those nuclear weapons — lots of them.”

Only 30 percent disagreed, and 25 percent said they were not sure. Mr. Netanyahu’s name was not mentioned in the poll question.

Meanwhile, the poll found more voters than not oppose the Obama administration’s effort to secure “a 10-year freeze on Iran’s nuclear development program in exchange for lifting some sanctions on the Iranian economy.”

The survey found 39 percent opposed to the freeze strategy, with 35 percent in favor of the plan and 25 percent undecided, “which isn’t surprising, given that the deal is being negotiated in secret and not many of the details are known,” noted the poll’s analysis.

Mr. Netanyahu spoke Tuesday to a joint session of Congress on his opposition to the potential deal being negotiated by the Obama administration and the dangers of a nuclear Iran. An estimated 56 House and Senate Democrats, along with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, boycotted the speech, which was characterized as an affront to Mr. Obama.

Those who did attend the speech gave Mr. Netanyahu multiple standing ovations, while the Democrats who boycotted held a press conference afterward at which they expressed support for Israel but not Mr. Netanyahu.

Rep. John Yarmuth, Kentucky Democrat, called the speech “impressive political theater” and “fear-mongering at its ultimate.”

The poll of 1,000 likely voters was conducted on March 4-5 with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

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