A new Democracy Corps (D) poll finds that the Democratic Party could be reaching parity or perhaps even overtaking the Republicans on national security — an issue area that has benefitted the GOP for decades.
President Obama has a 64%-31% approval rating on national security, and a 61%-31% rating on fighting terrorism — both higher than his overall approval of 58%-33%. In addition, likely voters say by a 55%-37% margin that Obama’s policies are increasing America’s security — rejecting the alternative statement that he’s undermining security.
Indeed, a 51%-44% majority agreed with this statement: “President Bush’s foreign and national security policies undermined America’s security.”On national security overall, the Republicans have a statistically insignificant edge of 43%-41% over the Dems, and it’s a dead-even tie of 41%-41% for the War on Terror. The GOP maintains a 53%-35% advantage on “ensuring a strong military,” but the Dems have a 52%-35% lead on “foreign policy,” a 44%-32% lead on Afghanistan, and a 47%-37% lead on Iraq.
The Democratic gap on defense originated in large part because the Dems launched a failed war in Southeast Asia, then collapsed in partisan infighting over it. The GOP could perhaps be suffering from the fact that they launched two mismanaged wars in the Muslim world, and now stand resolutely by to declare that nothing was wrong.