Dems Pull Even With GOP on National Security

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 13 2012 10:16 AM

Your Daily Poll: Dems Pull Even With GOP on National Security

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The Pentagon

Photo by AFP/Getty Images.

A new Gallup poll shows that Democrats have made serious inroads when it comes to voter perception of which major party is stronger on national security issues.

The latest numbers suggest that Democrats have pulled even with the GOP at 45 percent. The only times that Republicans failed to post a lead on the issue during the past decade were in 2006 and 2007 during the depths of the Iraq War.

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Here was the question, as it was asked:

Looking ahead for the next few years, which political party do you think will do a better job of protecting the country from international terrorism and military threats -- [the Republican Party or the Democratic Party]?

As you can see from the Gallup chart below, Republicans enjoyed double-digit leads on that question for much of the past two years:

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A note of caution, however, on reading too much into the latest numbers: The poll was conducted over a four-day stretch ending Sunday, so it included one day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., which may have given Democrats a bit of a bump. According to Gallup pollsters, a number of other measures from last week—including President Obama's approval rating and U.S. satisfaction with the country—suggest that views toward the Democratic Party were "especially favorable during that time." The survey also was obviously conducted before this week's anti-American riots at U.S. missions in the Middle East.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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