On the other hand, his overseeing the Iraq transition to local rule and security and his 2014 drawdown of Afghanistan troops corresponds to the American public and especially the left’s war weariness and desire for a domestic focus.
Recent polls highlight that a decade after 9/11, terrorism has receded to a secondary topic and support for foreign adventures is mostly gone as headlines from stories of recent polls confirm:
- Post/ABC News poll shows drop in Republican support for Afghan War (4-11-12)
- Most swing voters favor Afghan troop withdrawal (4-18-12) (Pew Research Center)
Voters are still worried about Iran’s nuclear ambition and Syria’s humanitarian crisis, but not enough to support on-the-ground action.
It is not clear if the cuts in military spending that are coming will affect the public opinion of military families and their communities. No polls have been reported as yet. Romney is winning veterans by 24 points, but the Republican nominee usually leads with vets.
“‘He has a very good foreign policy rating, much better than his domestic policy rating,’ said Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli. ‘For all the criticism of his being too international and not a believer in American exceptionalism, he got Osama, he backed the Afghan surge, and he engineered these withdrawals.’
The administration’s proposed deep cuts in defense spending have yet to register with the electorate at large, said Mr. Ciruli.
‘If that’s playing locally, I’m not hearing it,’ said Mr. Ciruli. ‘The military is not playing – the economy is playing.’” (Washington Times, May 23, 2012)
The Washington Times: Obama makes case for defense cuts
The Washington Post: Post-ABC News poll shows drop in Republican support for Afghan war
Gallup: Veterans give Romney big lead over Obama
Pew Research Center: Most swing voters favor Afghan troop withdrawal