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Poll shows Israeli voters happy with status quo

According to a US survey of Israeli voters, security considerations tipped the scale and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won once again for his reputation as a strong leader.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the opening ceremony of Holocaust Memorial Day at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem April 15, 2015. Starting Wednesday evening, Israel marks the annual memorial day commemorating the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust during World War Two. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun  - RTR4XHVD
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A month has passed since the elections and the dust is starting to settle over the results that shocked the Israeli political system and numerous observers around the world. The findings of a new survey verify the analysis published here in Al-Monitor the day after the elections. True, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to transform a gap of a mandate or two in the polls into an advantage of six seats in the voting booths in two days. But aside from this sweeping victory, nothing else really happened and the balance of electoral power in Israel underwent a minor change in favor of the center-left bloc. The Israeli public did not shift to the right, the inter-bloc balance sheet barely changed and the main power distribution remained as it was. The only thing that did change is that Netanyahu managed to gobble up votes from the Likud’s satellite parties, while Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog did not.

The survey was conducted by American pollster Jim Gerstein together with David Eichenbaum, who together comprise the professional staff of the New Majority organization. New Majority endeavored to replace Netanyahu, and the organization became well known during the weeks before the election in Israel mainly via veteran Israeli strategist Eyal Arad. Gerstein is intimately involved in the Democratic Party and is viewed as one of the disciples of veteran American political strategist Stanley Greenberg, who was part of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s professional staff when he overcame Netanyahu in 1999.

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