protesters walk down a street holding a large banner that reads "ceasefire now!" many are carrying palestinian flags.
Protesters call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in downtown San Francisco, Oct. 28, 2023. (Photo/Aaron Levy-Wolins)

More than 40% of California voters support a cease-fire in Gaza

Almost half of California’s registered voters describe Israel’s military response to the Oct. 7 massacre as “too much,” a new poll out of UC Berkeley shows.

The poll, conducted by the university’s Institute of Governmental Studies, found that 44% of California voters believe Israel’s response is “too much,” while 23% think it’s “about right” and 9% say “too little.” Another 24% have no opinion.

Registered voters were largely split according to party affiliation and age, with younger and more liberal voters the least likely to support Israel’s actions so far in its war with Hamas.

A slightly smaller percentage backs the idea of a cease-fire. Some 41% feel Israel should agree to a cease-fire and negotiate an end to the war “even if Hamas remains a viable force in Gaza.” But 36% say Israel should continue its actions until Hamas is wiped out, while 23% have no opinion.

The poll, which was funded by the Los Angeles Times and released Jan. 12, surveyed 8,199 registered voters from across the state between Jan. 4 and 8.

Asked whether their sympathies lie more with Israelis, Palestinians or “both equally,” the responses were fairly balanced: 30% with Israelis, 24% with Palestinians, 28% both equally and 18% with no opinion.

Through the lens of party affiliation, the divide becomes more apparent.

RELATED: What California’s Senate candidates said about Israel and Gaza in their first debate

Some 63% of Republicans say their sympathies fall more with Israelis, while only 16% of Democrats say the same. Another 5% of Republicans favor Palestinians more, while 33% of Democrats feel that way.

Democrats were also more likely to say they favor “both equally” at 34%, compared with 15% for Republicans.

The “Israelis vs. Palestinians” question was also dramatically split by age.

For those over age 65, 46% favor Israelis and 13% lean toward Palestinians. By contrast, for those between ages 18 and 29, 14% favor Israelis and 44% lean toward Palestinians.

There was greater agreement when it came to sympathizing with both equally: 32% for 65 and over, compared with 21% for the younger cohort.

President Joe Biden’s handling of the “Israel-Hamas conflict” isn’t especially popular in California, with 55% overall disapproving. That figure jumps to 69% among voters between 18 and 29.

Overall, 47% say they back a two-state solution (rather than a single state that is Israeli, Palestinian or neither).

IGS Poll director Mark DiCamillo said the institute doesn’t plan to run another poll on the war in the near future, as it concentrates on California’s primary election on March 5.