The Democratic advantage on national security

A new poll says voters trust Democrats more than Republicans on national security.


Farhad Manjoo
April 4, 2006 2:13AM (UTC)

According to a new poll that Democrats are touting, voters would support Democrats over Republicans for Congress even if November's election focused on the one issue thought to be most advantageous to Republicans -- national security.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says that about 800 Americans were asked, "Suppose for a moment that you were deciding your vote for Congress SOLELY on the question of who you trusted more to protect America's national security and have the right policies for combating terrorism. If this were the ONLY issue you were considering, would you be more likely to vote for a Democrat or a Republican?" Forty-one percent said they'd choose Democrats, while 39 percent said they'd choose Republicans. When the pool was constrained only to those voters who called themselves independents, Democrats enjoyed an even greater advantage, 33 percent to 23 percent. (The rest said they didn't know or that the race would depend on the individual candidates.)

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I'm no expert on polls, and many who are would likely have many questions to ask about this one. For one thing, the Democratic advantage over Republicans is just two points, which is likely within the poll's margin of error. Two, it isn't clear if this poll surveyed likely voters or, instead, more lefty-friendly registered voters.

Still, these numbers are certainly cause for optimism -- if not because they guarantee that Democrats will win Congress in November, then at least because, like a host of recent polls, they suggest that Americans are finally beginning to see the folly of the GOP's national security policies.


Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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