Charles Dharapak/AP Photo
Mitt Romney addressing the deaths of U.S. embassy officials in Benghazi, Libya on Wednesday during a speech in Jacksonville, Florida.
The international crisis at two U.S. embassies began at the beginning of last week and so did Mitt Romney's latest struggle with foreign policy. We know how many professional Republicans and Democrats responded to Romney's reaction but what about the American people? Were they paying attention and if so, what do they think about Romney's early statement attacking the president and the diplomatic corps, even as they were under attack and about how the president handled the situation?
Obama has had a lead in foreign policy in most polls. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press did more digging. They recently conducted a poll asking first if people were following the story and second what they thought of Mitt Romney's response to the situation and also President Obama's response to the situation. Here is some of what they found.
About four-in-ten Americans (43%) have followed news about the attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East and the killing of an American ambassador very closely, making it by far the most closely followed foreign news story of the year.
Those who have followed this story have much more positive opinions about Barack Obama’s handling of the situation than Mitt Romney’s comments on the crisis. Nearly half (45%) approve of Obama’s handling of the recent attacks on U.S. embassies and the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Libya; 36% disapprove of Obama’s handling of this situation.
In contrast, only about a quarter (26%) of those who have tracked news on turmoil in the Middle East approve of Romney’s comments on the situation; nearly half (48%) disapprove.
The Pew Poll also found:
Romney gets higher marks among those who have followed Middle East events very closely than among those who followed them less closely. Even among this group, however, more disapprove (49%) than approve (34%) of his comments on the situation.
There are only modest partisan differences in attentiveness to the recent attacks on the embassies and the killing of the U.S. ambassador: 48% of Republicans, 41% of Democrats and 45% of independents have followed this story very closely.
During the DNC, President Obama used Mitt Romney's previous foreign policy gaffes in the United Kingdom as a punchline. This week's events however, are anything but funny.
Evan Vucci / AP
Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, in Manchester N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Tuesday shows President Barack Obama holding a four point lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. But among African Americans, the poll shows an even stronger lead for Obama, as First Read reports:
Looking inside the numbers, Obama continues to lead Romney among key parts of his political base, including African Americans (94 percent to 0 percent), Latinos (by a 2-to-1 margin), voters under 35-years-old (52 percent to 41 percent) and women (51 percent to 41 percent).
That's right: according to this poll, Romney has zero percent support among African Americans.
"The numbers came from a statistically significant sample of more than 100 African-American voters out of 1,000 total voters in the poll," NBC News senior political editor Mark Murray told Lean Forward. "Given the sample size of these African-American respondents, the margin of error is well within the 95 percent-5 percent split with which Obama won this group in 2008. "
In other words, none of the roughly 110 black respondents to this poll said they would support Romney. The poll should not be taken to mean that Romney has no African American supporters at all. However, at the very most, he has far fewer than Obama.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Speaker John Boehner (file)
Congress' approval rating has hit the bottom of the barrel. Actually, one would need to lift up the barrel and dig even deeper to find someone who likes our legislative branch. In the lastest NBC News/WSJ poll, approval of Congress tied for its all-time low record of 12 percent. The last time this happened was when Democrats controlled the House of Representatives back in 2008.
These truly horrible numbers come in the wake of Representative Todd Akin's comments about "legitimate rape" and news of freshman Congressman Kevin Yoder stripping down in the Sea of Galilee during a trip to Israel last summer. Congress' dismal approval numbers also come after a year of idiotic choices and distractions. From last summer's debt ceiling fight to the refusal of House republicans last Christmas to pass a payroll tax cut extension, it's been a bumpy ride.
Not only that, but the poll's data shows that only 36 percent of voters view the GOP positively, while 42 percent approve of Democrats. Congress is now, officially, the least popular kid in school — everyone point and laugh.
In case of an alien invasion, which presidential candidate would you trust more? National Geographic Channel conducted a real survey to find out. We're talking actual aliens, not of the illegal variety.
According to the poll, nearly 65 percent of Americans would pick President Obama to handle an extraterrestrial situation over rival Mitt Romney. (Maybe it goes back to foreign policy experience?) Breaking down the numbers even further, NGC found 68 percent of women say Obama would do a better job handling these visitors verses 61 percent of men. Younger citizens, ages 18 to 64 years, tended to side with Obama, too.
Whichever person would take on said alien invaders, we just hope they climb on to the wing of a fighter jet, like Bill Pullman's epic scene in "Independence Day," and yell at the top of their lungs, "We will not go quietly into the night!"
A new Bloomberg National Poll released today gives President Obama a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney. According to the results, Obama's riding off The Republican nominee's weakness more than his own strengths.
Among likely voters, the survey shows Obama beating Romney, 53 percent to 40 percent, even though the public gave the president low marks when it comes to his handling the economy and the deficit.
Notably, 55 percent say Romney is out of touch (his references to "sport" so aren't helping), while 36 percent find Obama out of touch. Along with being more trusted to deal with world leaders, respondents to the poll also chose Obama as the person they would rather to sit next to on a plane.
— By Jessica Ferrer
According to a new NBC/Marist poll, President Obama holds a slight edge over likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney in three pivotal swing states: Florida, Virginia and Ohio. Emphasis on the word slight.
Obama is ahead of Romney by a four point gap in both Florida and Virginia, 48 percent to 44 percent, among registered voters. And the president’s up by six in Ohio, 48 percent to 42 percent. While the scales are tipped in Obama way, he’s still under the 50 percent marker, so Romney is still within striking distances.
The fight for women voters is on! And the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found President Obama leading Mitt Romney among women by 15 points — 53 to 38 percent. In 2008, women voters helped Obama seal the deal and win the presidency with 56 percent voting for the Obama-Biden ticket compared to just 43 percent for McCain-Palin.
While House Republican women try to win over women voters with their new Women’s Policy Committee, the Obama team is pointing to Republicans' record on issues like domestic violence, reproductive health, and pay equity. Just today, Vice President Joe Biden hammered Mitt Romney's stance on women's issues, saying that his policies will take us back to the 1950s:
I haven't even touched on Romney's social policy either. One that says a woman should no longer get to make her own decisions about her own body and her health, one that says it's OK for insurance agencies to charge women more for health insurance than men, to count pregnancy as preexisting condition. I know this sounds like fiction.
As the original creator of the Violence Against Women Act, Biden also took issue with the House Republicans' new version of the bill that would leave out protections for immigrants, LGBT, and Native American women:
The Violence Against Women Act has become part of our popular culture. Businesses, everybody has embraced the notion that a woman has a right to be free of violence an intimidation on the street and in her own home, wherever it is. And these guys in the House just voted down our version, the continuation of the existing Violence Against Women Act. And they cut out big chunks. Folks, this is not your father's Republican party.
A new Reuters poll out today shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by seven points among registered voters, 49 to 42 percent. The president also came out ahead on six out of eight key issues: taxes, healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, the war on terror and Afghanistan. The other two big issues in question — the economy and immigration — showed them in a statistical tie.
Will Romney be able to narrow the gap with voters? Give us your last word in the comment section below.
Comments made by Vice President Biden sent the White House PR machine into overdrive today and inadvertently pushed the president's stance on marriage equality back into the spotlight.
Biden told NBC's Meet The Press he's "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex couples being granted the same rights as heterosexual ones. Today, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan also publicly voiced his support of marriage equality on MSNBC's Morning Joe.
President Obama has stayed famously vague on the issue, saying his position is "evolving."
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