President Obama’s drawn out and so far muddled effort to build support for attacking Syria is also damaging voter confidence in how Democrats handle national security.

A new Rasmussen Reports poll finds that just 32 percent of likely voters trust Democrats more than Republicans on issues related to national security, an eight point decrease since October. Some 47 percent trust Republicans more, the highest level of trust in the GOP in nearly a year.

The typical partisan split exists on how voters trust their parties, but for the independents unassociated with any party, the Republicans have a two-to-one trust advantage on national security issues, 44 percent to 22 percent.

The Syria issue has damaged the president most, however. Said Rasmussen: “Several regular indicators including the Daily Presidential Tracking Poll and the president's job approval ratings in specific areas improved dramatically just before Election Day last November and lasted through mid-April. Now his numbers in most areas have returned to levels seen for much of his first term in office.”

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at