Democrats must be losing sleep over new polls that for the first time show more voters trusting Republicans than Democrats on 10 of the most significant issues in American politics. The poll released Thursday by Rasmussen Reports doesn't necessarily represent strong voter confidence in Republicans, but it does show how noxious the Democratic approach has become across the board.
On education policy, the margin is narrow: Republicans lead 41-40. Democrats have killed the private student-loan industry, pulled the rug out from under a popular scholarship program in Washington, D.C., and kowtowed to education workers' unions at almost every opportunity. No wonder they have lost their former edge in this realm.
Republicans lead on health care, 48-40. This is no surprise. Obamacare already was deeply unpopular before seniors started realizing they would lose Medicare Advantage, before colleges reported that Obamacare might force them to drop health policies they provide to students, and before top Medicare actuaries reported the new law will cost more than had been advertised. The law should be repealed.
The margin on Iraq is 43-40. Takeaway: The Republican surge worked, but the Democratic withdrawal is dicey. The margin on Afghanistan is 43-36. President Obama has botched things there, and his announcement of a firm exit date is counterproductive. As for the overall war against terrorists and national security in general, the GOP leads by 49-37. The public obviously doesn't appreciate the Obama administration's plans for civilian trials of terrorists, its pussyfooting around with Iran, its cold shoulder to allies such as Israel and its failure to embrace missile defense.
Republicans enjoy a nine-point edge, 44-35, on immigration. The public understands that most Democrats stand for amnesty and that they treat state law enforcement worse than they treat the illegal aliens who mock American sovereignty and often prey upon citizens living near the border.
On government ethics and corruption, the collective weight of scandals involving Democratic Reps. William Jefferson, Charles B. Rangel and Maxine Waters clearly took a toll. Ditto for the sleazy White House job offers to two potential Senate candidates to drop their campaigns. For the first time in months, Republicans are more trusted, 40-38.
A huge swing from the decades-long conventional wisdom involves Social Security. Voters know that Democratic spending sprees on all fronts directly imperil the ability to keep the retirement system solvent. Republicans now lead, 44-38.
Then come two mega-issues that drive voter behavior and usually determine elections: taxes and the overall economy. The Republican trust advantage on taxes is a whopping 16 points, 52-36. Not helping Dems is the wide array of taxes set to rise across the board at year's end unless the Democratic Congress steps in to keep rates at today's levels. As for the economy, it thrived under Republican congresses from 1995 through 2006, tanked when Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Democrats took over in 2007 and has plunged into the doldrums as Democrats have spent us into oblivion. Result, GOP advantage, 47-39.
No wonder Democrats are so unpopular.
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