As attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East shift the focus of the presidential campaign to foreign policy, the results of a Gallup poll released Thursday showed that Democrats have pulled even with Republicans in terms of which party Americans think is better on handling terrorism.
The poll showed that 45 percent of Americans think the Democratic Party will do a better job of protecting the country from international terrorism and military threats, up from 38 percent in a poll conducted a year ago.
Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans that think the Republican Party will do a better job on terrorism fell to 45 percent from 49 percent, hitting a five-year low.
Gallup Senior Editor Lydia Saad wrote, "In their responses to the murders of the American ambassador to Libya and other diplomatic officials this week, Obama and Mitt Romney have each attempted to convince Americans that they can better be trusted than their opponent to vigorously fight terrorism and protect Americans abroad."
"However, Romney's task is made more difficult by the fact that the Democratic Party's image on terrorism is at a five-year high," she added.
The poll also found that 51 percent of Americas think the Democratic Party would do the better job of keeping the country prosperous compared to 42 percent that think the same about the Republican Party.
Gallup noted that these results represent a reversal from recent years, as the Republican Party was narrowly favored on this measure in 2010 and 2011.
Forty-nine percent of Americans also said the Democratic Party would do a better job of handling the national problem they currently think is most important compared to the 39 percent that said the Republican Party.
Saad wrote, "The Democrats lead in overall perceptions of which party can better handle the nation's most important problem. And the Democrats hold a critical advantage in perceptions of which party is more likely to maintain U.S. prosperity. This aligns Obama with almost every successful presidential candidate since 1956."
"However, while auspicious, it comes with the caveat that what goes up after political conventions often comes down, and it remains to be seen whether the good feeling toward Obama and the Democrats generated in Charlotte will continue for any length of time," she added.
The survey of 1,017 adults was conducted September 6th through 9th, both during and after the Democratic National Convention. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
by RTT Staff Writer
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