President Obama and the Democrats have lost their edge over Republicans on foreign policy, national security, budget and taxes, a stunning reversal of fortune as they limp into the 2014 midterm elections which will decide if the administration gets a second chance or bobs like a lame duck.
Less than two years after Obama stormed to re-election dominating the issues typically controlled by the GOP, he and his team have surrendered their advances, according to a new poll from Zogby Analytics.
In the poll of 902 likely voters, said pollster John Zogby, Republicans now are viewed as “superior” to Democrats on handling national security (36 percent to 25 percent) and foreign affairs (33 percent to 29 percent).
Obama's advantage in the 2012 election, fed by the capture of Osama bin Laden and the popularity of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has crashed on the rocks of the failed Middle East peace talks, the weak responses to violence in Ukraine and Syria and the controversy of Clinton and the Benghazi attacks.
And Zogby, who provides Secrets' weekly report card on Obama, said that if foreign policy and security issues play a big role in the upcoming elections, the Democrats could be in trouble.
"The party will not be able to count on several key demographic groups to bail them out," he said. "For example, on national security, women now favor the Republicans' capacity by a factor of 30 percent to 26 percent as do young voters (31 percent to 24 percent). Independents are even more rock solid in the GOP corner with 30 percent favoring them over the Democrats (only 12 percent). On foreign affairs/diplomacy, the very slight margin women prefer the Democrats (30 percent to 27 percent) cannot neutralize the 10-point deficit (38 percent to 28 percent) among men. Nor does the 10-point deficit the Democrats have among independents offer any comfort (26 percent for the GOP to 16 percent for the Democrats)."
His poll also found that the Democrats have surrendered their dominance on budget and tax issues. The GOP now leads the Democrats 32 percent to 22 percent on the issues. Democrats only have the edge on their traditional issues including education, empathy and the environment.
But Zogby, whose polling has shown America more and more disengaged with Washington, also found that many said that they don’t have faith in either party to handle the big issues.
"This provides real numbers for the general mood of voters who simply distrust the Democrats and the Republicans," he wrote on his website.
The bottom line: "Both parties seem to be limping into the November 2014 election. But the Democrats have some making up to do on several key issues with only a few months to go."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.