Washington (CNN) - Most Americans don't think that the Palestinians should be allowed to become full members of the United Nations, according to a new national survey. And the CNN/ORC International Poll also indicates that only four in ten support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza, but that there's a wide partisan divide over the issue.
The survey's release comes as the U.N. Security Council agreed Wednesday to send the Palestinian statehood application to a council committee for review. The first meeting of that committee, which includes all 15 members, is set for Friday. The debate, however, is expected to be largely symbolic in the face of a promised U.S. veto. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last Friday made the bid for the United Nations to recognize an independent state of Palestine, a move Israel says is premature without direct talks that address its longstanding security concerns.
"One reason that Americans oppose U.N. membership for the Palestinians may be that the U.S. public views the Palestinian people much differently than the Israelis," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The favorable rating for the Israeli people among the U.S. public is 30 points higher than the Palestinians' rating, due in part to higher negatives for the Palestinians but also a higher number of Americans who are unsure how they feel about the Palestinians."
The survey also indicates that politics no longer stops at the water's edge. Two-thirds of all Republicans oppose U.N. membership for the Palestinians compared to just 41 percent of Democrats. There are also gender and generational differences on this issue, with men and people over 50 years old more likely to oppose U.N. membership for the Palestinians.
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from September 23-25, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.