Neither the daily vicissitudes of news headlines nor the GOP presidential campaign seems to have had much impact on voters’ perceptions of the parties. Voters continue to favor the Republicans by significant margins on most key issues, as the most recent Rasmussen survey of 1,000 likely voters shows. In particular, voters trust Republicans over Democrats on the all-important issue of the economy by 48-37%. Those numbers have changed little compared with prior surveys this year:
There is no issue where the Democrats hold an advantage, and, while all eyes are on the economy, the Republicans’ big leads on national security and immigration should also boost them at the polls next year. (Note, too, that the killing of bin Laden has done nothing to give voters confidence in the Democrats on national security.)
The only issue on which the Democrats appear to have made gains is taxes. I suspect this is because the Democrats have had some success in framing the issue as whether or not to raise taxes on “the rich.” Republicans need to do a better job of explaining that even if “the rich” were taxed at 100%, it would do little to close the nation’s budget deficit, and what the Democrats really have in mind is higher taxes on all taxpayers. Still, Republicans shouldn’t panic, as they continue to lead, albeit narrowly, on the tax issue.