The GOP's Tactics Seem to Be Working, According to New Poll

Republicans are ahead of Democrats heading into 2014 on key issues.

House Speaker John Boehner will discuss the upcoming Obamacare vote with his caucus Wednesday, a spokesman said.

House Speaker John Boehner will discuss the upcoming Obamacare vote with his caucus Wednesday, a spokesman said.

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Republicans are gaining momentum ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out Friday showed voters trust Republicans over Democrats on key issues, including foreign policy, the economy and reducing the deficit.

[READ: Congress Draws Lines for Government Shutdown ]

After a two-week battle on whether the U.S. should send cruise missiles into Syria, the divided GOP emerges with the 7-point lead, 33 percent to 26 percent, over Democrats on diplomacy and a 33-percentage point lead, 47 percent to 14 percent, over Democrats on ensuring a strong national defense.

Heading into a series of budget clashes, Republicans emerge with a 4-point edge over Democrats for their budget slashing, deficit reducing economic policies.

It is a boost for a party that holds a solid majority in the House of Representatives, but has been plagued by inner-party squabbles. The House GOP brand remains badly damaged, according to many polls.

But its views may be resonating, according to this latest survey.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP leaders have been paralyzed by a small coalition of absolutists in the party, unwilling to wheel and deal on issues such as the continuing resolution – a spending bill to keep the government funded – or the debt ceiling – the mechanism that keeps the country able to pay its creditors.

Just this week, a vote had to be rescheduled to keep the government funded because Boehner could not find the votes within his own party. If Republicans don't pass a bill by Oct. 1, the government will shut down – something that Americans overwhelmingly will blame House Republicans for, polls show.

The GOP is coming out ahead in the poll as it stands now, which may give leaders extra incentive to keep the small group of fiscal hawks from leading a government shutdown effort later this month.

If Republican policies continue to gain traction among the American public, pollsters say Democrats may have a nearly impossible time taking back the House.

To take the majority in 2014, Democrats will need to pick up an additional 17 seats, a challenge when the long-term trend has been that the president's party tends to lose seats during the midterm election.

The poll indicated there were some bright spots for Democrats. On health care, for example, voters trust Democrats over Republicans by 8 points. However, the number is the lowest the poll has shown since the health care law passed in 2010.

[ALSO: DCCC Says Syria Is Not an Election Issue ]

Immigration is another area where voters trust Democratic policies more, 30 percentage points to 26 points.

During a meeting with reporters earlier this week, Rep. Steve Israel, N.Y., the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said that it's too early to be writing off the House as out of his party's grasp.

"I'm not losing sleep," Israel said.

Israel argued that 2014 won't be about Syria, but that it will be about who has kept the government running and who has championed the Affordable Care Act, a dig at the Republican effort to defund the law known as Obamacare this budgeting season.

"It will be [a] referendum, not on Obamacare, but on who is trying to make it work and who is trying to destroy it," Israel said.

The poll was conducted between Sept. 5 and Sept. 8 and included 1,000 adults with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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