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CNN  — 

Most Americans now view the Republican Party as better than the Democratic Party at protecting the country from international threats and ensuring the nation remains prosperous, according to a new poll from Gallup. These are also the GOP’s widest margins ahead of the Democrats in either issue area in at least six years.

* On security matters: 54% prefer the Republican Party and 39% prefer the Democratic Party

  • Largest GOP advantage since 2015

* On prosperity: 50% prefer the Republican Party and 41% prefer the Democratic Party

  • Largest GOP advantage since 2014

While the Republican Party has historically been seen as the one better situated to handle security matters and the economy, Gallup adds some context for this latest bump: “More of this change has come from declines in Americans perceiving the Democratic Party as better on these issues than from increases for the Republican Party.”

Gallup also notes that independents have a hand in the number: 

“Since last year, there have been double-digit declines in the percentages of independents who say the Democratic Party is better at handling the most important problem (from 42% to 31%), at keeping the nation secure (from 43% to 31%) and at keeping the nation prosperous (from 47% to 35%).”

There is also a very important note on timing here. Gallup conducted this survey on governance from September 1 to September 17. During that time, we had the aftermath of the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, rising Covid-19 infections and a weaker-than-expected US employment report: a particularly bruising series of news cycles for President Joe Biden and his party.

Of course, this is just one poll showing a snapshot of a pretty bad couple of weeks for Democrats. It is not necessarily a predictor of what’s to come. 

One actual predictor, historically speaking, has been the president’s popularity. If a president’s approval is slumping heading into a midterm election year, that generally spells disaster for his party’s representation in Congress. We are roughly 13 months from the 2022 midterms – and Democrats are already concerned about Biden’s dipping popularity since taking office.

The Point: Here is yet another number potentially spelling good news for the GOP ahead of next year’s midterms.