Obama Overtakes Romney In Rosner’s Israel Factor

Shmuel Rosner and his panel of experts have been ranking candidates according to their “Israel Factor“. Romney had a consistent advantage over Obama starting back in 2006. However, Obama has now overtaken Romney:

So what happened in the past month to put Obama ‎slightly ahead? Two things:‎

  1. Romney’s visit to Israel, probably more acceptable to most Israelis than to ‎our panel, was somewhat problematic in the mainstream expert view. ‎Romney was playing politics — while the experts prefer policy driven ‎statements, comments and actions. We asked one panelist why his vote ‎for Obama went down from 9 to 8, and the visit was the reason. The ‎‎”Palestinian culture” statement, and generally, the “turning of Israel into a ‎wedge issue” didn’t make this panelist (who still favors Romney over ‎Obama) happy.‎
  2. Obama’s seemingly tough position on the Iranian issue is making a ‎difference. We’ve argued many times that Iran is the most revealing issue ‎on which many Israelis — our panel included – look at the candidates and ‎how “good” they are on Israel. We dedicated a long question to Iran in this ‎survey, supplying the panel with statements to rank from totally disagree ‎‎(1) to totally agree (10). Look at these two statements and how the panel ‎rated them:‎
    • Obama will use force against Iran if diplomacy doesn’t work: 6.44
    • If elected, Romney will use force against Iran if ‎diplomacy doesn’t work: 6.11

    In other words: disregarding Romney’s implied claim that he will be tougher than ‎Obama on Iran — that he is more likely to use force against Tehran’s leaders — ‎the panel ranks Obama higher on this specific issue of using force. The panel ‎sees in Obama the determination to stop Iran by all available means. And while ‎the difference between Obama and Romney on this question is not great, it ‎even gives Obama a little more credit than it does Romney.