Poll: Nearly Half of Americans Take Issue With Netanyahu Speech

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Benjamin NetanyahuNBC News

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Nearly half of American voters — 48 percent — say that congressional Republicans should not have invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on Tuesday without first notifying President Barack Obama, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

By contrast, 30 percent of those polled believe the invitation was fine, and another 22 percent don’t know enough to say either way.

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Poll: How Americans Feel About Netanyahu

Not surprisingly, the issue breaks along partisan lines, with 66 percent of Democrats saying Republicans shouldn't have invited Netanyahu without first notifying the president, compared with just 28 percent of Republicans who say that.

Israel in general, however, remains popular with Americans, the poll also finds. Forty-seven percent of voters view the country positively, versus 17 percent who have a negative reaction.

And Netanyahu has a 30 percent positive/17 percent negative rating in the poll — up from 24 percent positive/15 percent negative a year ago.

Yet once again, that largely breaks along partisan lines, with 49 percent of GOP voters holding a positive opinion of Netanyahu, versus just 12 percent of Democrats.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Feb. 25-28 of 800 registered voters (240 by cell phone), and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.5 percentage points.