In trying to argue that the public really does favor the Republicans on foreign policy, Barone writes:
But when it comes to the question of protecting Americans from Islamist terrorists, the Democrats have little to say, or nothing. Democratic candidates have mentioned Islamist terrorism only briefly or, more often, not at all in their several debates. In contrast, Republican candidates in their debates have more to say on the subject. On this issue, it is the Republican candidates who are in line not only with their primary electorate but also with most voters in the general election.
This helps to explain one anomaly in current polling, that while voters generically prefer a Democratic candidate, when they are presented with a choice between the two candidates now leading in the polls, Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, they are split just about evenly. The reason is that Democrats are giving voters the impression that they believe everything will be just fine in the world once Bush is back in Crawford and the troops are home from Iraq.
By Real Clear Politics own data, Clinton (the most right wing Democrat on foreign policy) beats every Republican contender, including Fred Thompson (by 6.5%) and Mitt Romney (by 9.7%). The other two major Democrats (who are, to repeat, left of Clinton on foreign policy) also beat every Republican, only by much larger margins. Call me crazy, but it’s almost as if a Podhoretz-esque foreign policy stance isn’t popular amongst the voting public…