For Democrats, Foreign Policy Takes a Back Seat in U.S. Presidential Campaign

For Democrats, Foreign Policy Takes a Back Seat in U.S. Presidential Campaign
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Charleston, S.C., Jan. 17, 2016 (AP photo by Mic Smith).

It’s sometimes said that in the United States, Democrats are from Venus and Republicans are from Mars. Rarely has that seemed truer than this presidential cycle, an election in which both parties seem to be operating in completely different realities when it comes to foreign policy and national security.

Consider the recent polls asking voters of each party what issue is most important to them this election season. According to the most recent NBC poll, a third of GOP voters pick terrorism as their biggest concern. Next is jobs and the economy. A New York Times poll of Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire shows similar numbers.

For Democrats, the economy is No. 1, but terrorism isn’t even a close second. In fact, it’s not even third or fourth. In the NBC poll, only 11 percent of Democratic voters are most concerned about that issue, putting it behind not just the economy, but also health care, the environment and education.

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