Republicans are improving their standing among Americans compared to Democrats when it comes to the handling several major foreign and domestic policy issues, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll
In the survey of 1,000 adults taken Sept. 5-8, respondents said they thought Republicans do better than Democrats handling foreign policy, terrorism, and national defense, as well as reducing the deficit and dealing with the economy.
In addition, Republicans received a stronger rating than in previous surveys on the issue of healthcare.
As for the numbers, 33 percent of those surveyed said Republicans would do a better job dealing with the economy, compared to 29 percent who chose the Democrats. That 4-point gap reversed a 2 point Democratic lead in February. By a margin of 35 percent to 22 percent, the participants also said Republicans would do a better job than Democrats on reducing the federal debt.
On foreign policy matters, 33 percent also said the GOP would do a better job, while 26 percent said Democrats would. On fighting terrorism, the poll found that 28 percent of respondents believe Republicans would do a better job, compared to 18 percent for the Democrats.
On the issue of overall national defense, 47 percent of respondents said Republicans would be better, while only 14 percent chose the Democrats.
But the poll found that on education, looking out for the middle class, and immigration issues, survey participants gave the Democrats higher marks than Republicans on which party would best handle those issues. Asked about taking care of the middle class, the margin was 41 percent to 24 percent, and on education it was 37 to 19 percent.
On the issue of healthcare, 37 percent of respondents said Democrats would do a better job, while 29 percent said Republicans would. The Republicans, however, narrowed the gap with Democrats on that particular issue, which in February was 16 points.
As for President President Barack Obama, the NBC/Journal polls found that 50 percent of those surveyed disapprove of the overall job he's doing, while 45 percent approve. That tracks closely with Gallup's daily poll
, which found that the president currently has a 44 percent disapproval rating.
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