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Change: American Jews Now Oppose Iran Deal, 45% to 40%

A plurality of American Jews now say they oppose the Iran nuclear deal, 45% to 40%–and a majority oppose the deal after they learn more about what is in it, according to a new poll.

The survey, conducted by Olive Tree Strategies for The Israel Project, was conducted July 22-26 among 1,034 Jewish Americans, and has a margin of error of 3%. The findings contradict those of an earlier poll, which found that a large plurality of American Jews support the Iran deal–though critics have called the questions in that poll flawed and its results inconclusive.

“On June 5th, this deal was at +13… today, it is underwater, at 40% approve, 45% disapprove,” said pollster Nathan Klein in a press call with reporters on Wednesday. Like the earlier poll, the new survey shows that Democrats strongly approve of the deal and Republicans strongly disapprove of the deal. It also shows strong approval for President Barack Obama in the American Jewish community. However, it shows disapproval of the president on the specific issues of foreign policy (-5), cybersecurity (-9), and nuclear negotiations with Iran (-10).

After asking respondents, in online interviews, about their views of the Iran deal and the president, the poll then presented arguments from both sides of the debate. It found that only one third of American Jews agree with the arguments of the Iran deal’s supporters. After hearing the arguments of both sides, moreover, opposition to the deal grew to a majority, 51% against to 35% in favor. After a further set of questions to respondents focusing on “concerns” over the Iran deal, opposition grows even more, rising to 58% against the deal to 30% in favor of it.

The public is growing more interested and engaged in the issue, Klein said, noting that those Americans who said they had heard “a lot” about the Iran deal had risen from 14% in November to 30% today. The issue is very much in flux, he said, suggesting that the debate over the Iran deal was still shaping perceptions about it, somewhat independent of traditional partisan loyalties.

A CNN/ORC poll released on Tuesday showed that a majority of American adults want Congress to reject the Iran deal, 52% to 44%–and the debate has just begun.

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