Republicans are now rated higher than Democrats on handling the economy and foreign policy, and the GOP’s lead has strengthened on several other issues, including dealing with the federal deficit and ensuring a strong national defense. On topics such as health care, Democrats have seen their long-standing advantage whittled to lows not seen in years.
It’s clear that these new numbers reflect widespread discontent with President Obama’s second term. Syria and the implementation of Obamacare have become real time trainwrecks, and the “summer of scandals” certainly didn’t help. But the poll also points to a fact that should worry the GOP: the recent wave of discontent with the Obama administration isn’t translating into reliable, long-term support for the Republican party. Only 28 percent view the GOP favorably against 40 percent who have a positive opinion about the Democratic party.The truth is that Republicans can only profit so much from Obama’s failures. Unless and until they start offering solid alternative policies backed up by a compelling narrativeabout America’s future, all the Obama disenchantment in the world won’t be enough to get them into office and keep them there. Saying no to Obama has won the GOP some points; now it’s time to try something new.[Image of GOP elephant from Shutterstock]