Survey: Democrats Catch Up on National Security

Things are looking up for the Democrats on the national security issue, according to three prominent party strategists who base their assessment on the latest poll by Democracy Corps, a Democratic study group.

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Things are looking up for the Democrats on the national security issue, according to three prominent party strategists who base their assessment on the latest poll by Democracy Corps, a Democratic study group.

In an analysis provided to U.S. News , Stan Greenberg, Jeremy Rosner, and James Carville say, "Democrats now have a generational opportunity: For the first time in decades, national security has become a potentially winning issue for them." The strategists add: "With the public angry about mismanagement of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, worried about America's declining standing abroad, and concerned about a host of other unaddressed security concerns, from weapons proliferation to global warming, Democrats have now reached parity with the Republicans on the most important measures of national security and lead the Republicans on other crucial aspects of whom the public trusts most in foreign policy."

Among their findings is that 44 percent of voters now trust the GOP to do a better job on national security, compared with 41 percent who favor the Democrats. Four years ago, Republicans held a 29-point advantage on that question. Greenberg, Rosner, and Carville urge their party to "lose its reflexive defensiveness on national security," "stand up to President Bush" on national security issues, and strengthen its ties with the armed services in order to end lingering perceptions that "Democrats are distant from the military."

—Kenneth T. Walsh