Gallup: GOP holds 23 point lead over Democrats as party best able to keep US safe
Seven weeks to go until the mid term elections in November and there us further evidence that the Democrats are in deep trouble.
Gallup released its "Governance Poll" yesterday and it showed a whopping 23 point lead for Republicans as the party best able to keep the country safe.
Perhaps more relevant to the elections, Republicans hold a nine point lead over Democrats as the party best able to keep America prosperous. The number represents almost exactly the same margin held by the GOP in the lead up to the wave election of 2010.
The Republican Party has expanded its historical edge over the Democratic Party in Americans' minds as being better able to protect the U.S. from international terrorism and military threats. At this point, 55% of Americans choose the GOP on this dimension, while 32% choose the Democratic Party. This is the widest Republican advantage in Gallup's history of asking this question since 2002.
The latest update on this 12-year trend comes from Gallup's Sept. 4-7 Governance poll, finished just days before President Barack Obama's speech to the nation Wednesday night, in which he outlined his plans for addressing the challenges presented by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other international threats.
Republicans have held a perceptual edge on this question in all but two of the 12 years that it has been asked -- 2007 and 2012. The GOP's edge has been significant in many of the other years, although the 19-percentage-point gap measured in 2002, which was previously the largest, is eclipsed by this year's 23-point Republican edge.
The strong Republican advantage this year is most likely related to the increasing news coverage of ISIS and its beheadings of two American journalists. Although the Obama administration has initiated air attacks against terrorist positions in Iraq, the president's widely quoted comments that he had "no strategy" for dealing with the issue may help explain why Americans have become less likely to say the Democrats could better protect the U.S. from terrorism and military threats.
Republicans Have Edge as Party Better Able to Keep Country Prosperous
In addition to the GOP advantage on matters of security, Americans also give the Republican Party an edge as the party better able to keep the country prosperous, with 49% choosing the Republicans and 40% the Democrats.
As you can see from the chart below, the party best able to keep the country prosperous has enjoyed considerable success at the polls:
It's still unclear just how much an impact foreign policy will have on the mid terms. With Ukraine under a shaky cease fire, and Iraq being able to hold off Islamic State for the time being, it is likely the war issue will fade a bit in the coming weeks. Perhaps foreign affairs will become more of an indirect issue, contributing to the narrative of Obama being incompetent and weak, which will be a drag on Democratic chances in November.
But that second metric should be setting off alarm bells for Democrats all over the country. The voters appear to have lost faith in the ability of Democrats to manage the economy and create jobs. Coupled with polls showing across the board weakness by Democrats among their core constituencies, the election is setting up to be another smashing success for Republicans.
As long as they don't blow it.