After the ISIS attacks in Paris this month, Donald Trump (and Republicans) ratcheted up the racism and xenophobia and voters seemed to follow. After the attack, Trump’s poll numbers ticked up 2 points while his competitors’ went down.
After that, the media began to create a narrative that in times of national security uncertainty, voters turn to Republicans and they turn to the Republicans who offer the most bluster. The media is wrong. By and large, it’s Hillary Clinton who the nation trusts with our safety from terrorism. From CNN:
The Democratic front-runner leads most of the GOP candidates by a wide margin, and tops GOP front-runner Donald Trump by 8 points and second-place Ben Carson by 9 points.
The only Republican who came close to Clinton was Jeb Bush, who is still running behind the pack in every other area. 43 percent of Americans shockingly still associate the Bush name with national security, despite the fact that ISIS wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for George W. Bush.
Pitted head to head, the poll, by Washington Post/ABC, showed Clinton leading Trump 50-42 percent. She led Carson by a similar margin: 49-40 percent. Ted Cruz ranked similarly: 47-40 percent. Marco Rubio was the narrow winner in the GOP field: 47 to 43 percent.
The poll, for some reason, did not ask about Bernie Sanders.
Not all news is good for Democrats. Americans are blaming President Obama for the attacks in Paris, with 57 percent disapproving of his handling of terrorism in general and specifically of ISIS. Another poll, by CBS, says that 2/3 of Americans think Obama doesn’t have a clear plan for defeating terrorism. Most want boots on the ground, something the President is hesitant to do.
The problem with the boots on the ground theory is that terrorists are not organized armies who wear uniforms. They blend into their environment. Intelligence has always been a much more effective strategy in sussing out terrorists, but it’s one that Americans have a difficult time comprehending. Guns and bombs, after all, are our national language.
Featured image via Wikipedia.