According to a ABC News/Washington Post survey of 1004 general election voters, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, think that the former Secretary of State, has a better grasp of the issues, as well as, understands how to keep the United States safe from terrorists.
When breaking the poll down via just party lines then the Republicans favor Donald Trump, by a large margin. But the poll’s main focus is on the general election and Clinton beats every one of her Republican rivals. What is also interesting in the poll is how well the second tier of the Republican candidate do in a head to head examination of keeping the county safe against terrorists.
Clinton holds an eight-point lead over Republican Senator Ted Cruz (48 percent to 40 percent), though former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio performed slightly better. Clinton held a 46 percent-to-43 percent advantage against Bush, and a 47 percent-to-43 percent lead over Rubio on the issue.
The former secretary of state’s largest advantage overall comes against the actual leaders in the GOP Presidential race. She crushes Dr. Ben Carson, taking 49 percent to 40 percent and she beats Trump, taking 50 percent to the Manhattan mogul’s 42 percent.
Clinton’s position of strength in the new Post-ABC poll is perhaps more striking given it also found a record high 54 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Obama is handling terrorism, and 57 percent disapproved of his handling of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Clinton, is seen as both more hawkish and stronger that President Obama on the issue. She has gained the edge, to a significant share of Obama detractors who nonetheless prefer her over Republicans.
Tellingly, the poll found between one-quarter and one-third of those who disapprove of Obama’s efforts dealing with terrorism support Clinton as a more competent, intelligent and stronger person to handle the crisis than any Republican on the issue.
Look for Clinton to distance herself further from President Obama in coming weeks on a number of issues. Here recent feeling of freedom to draw a differentiation from Obama could become important if public views of his performance on terrorism – and as president overall – fail to improve. If they don’t, Republicans will almost certainly seek to tie the Democratic nominee to Obama’s performance.
That is something that Clinton is moving to make sure does not happen.