By a significant margin, Americans now view the Republican Party as better able to protect the nation from international threats than the Democratic Party. By a margin of 54-39, Republicans are seen as more able to ward off terrorism and other threats. Also by a spread of 50-41, Republicans are viewed as more able to ensure the nation prospers than Democrats.
So says a Gallup annual “Governance” poll that was conducted Sept. 1-17.
According to Gallup, “Last year, the GOP had a narrow advantage on international matters while the parties were essentially tied on economic matters. More of this change has come from declines in Americans perceiving the Democratic Party as better on these issues than from increases for the Republican Party.
“Meanwhile, the public is narrowly divided (41% Republican Party, 38% Democratic Party) as to which party can better handle whichever issue it deems the most important facing the country. Americans most commonly name the coronavirus pandemic or the government itself as the most important problem.”
The latest results are from Gallup’s annual Governance survey, conducted Sept. 1-17. The survey was conducted just after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and amid heightened numbers of coronavirus infections and a weaker-than-expected U.S. employment report.
The swing toward Republicans is coming from independent voters, Gallup said, as people who are registered with parties tend to favor their own party.
“As might be expected, Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly view their preferred party as better able to handle the most important problem, to keep the country safe from international threats and to keep the country prosperous. Thus, when perceptions of which party is better able to handle these issues change, as occurred this year, independents are usually behind those shifts,” the company wrote.
Independents are losing faith in the Democratic Party in some of the most important issues facing the nation, with “double-digit declines in the percentages of independents who say the Democratic Party is better at handling the most important problem (from 42% to 31%), at keeping the nation secure (from 43% to 31%) and at keeping the nation prosperous (from 47% to 35%).
“There has been an eight-point increase among independents in saying the Republican Party is better at keeping the country prosperous (from 43% to 51%), a five-point increase for keeping the nation secure (from 48% to 53%) and a nonsignificant two-point change on the most important problem (from 29% to 31%),” Gallup summarized.