In June, Republicans led Democrats by 9 percentage points when voters were asked which party they trusted most to handle national security and the war on terrorism. In the new poll, voters prefer Republicans by 17 percentage points, 49% to 32%.
Kevin Drum of Washington Monthly summarizes the dilemma one way,
Note, though, that "Republicans have nearly doubled their lead when voters are asked which party they trust most to protect the nation against terrorism." The Democratic message is apparently not getting through either.They also have a nice graph from the times that highlights the rest of the poll.
Basically, I disagree with Drum's conclusion. The main Democratic anti-war message is getting through, it's just turning off voters. The Republicans on the war and on terrorism are as incompetent as ever, the only thing that's changed is that the once rabid war hawks now appear moderate thanks to the liberal anti-war movement. It will be interesting to see how this uptick in Republican support plays out with the weak-kneed three.
LATIMES, Bush and GOP Making Gains Among Voters, Ron Brownstein, September 21, 2006.
Wasington Monthly IRAQ AND TERROR, Kevin Drum, September 21, 2006.