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Political Insiders Poll

April 5, 2012

On balance, will President Obama’s foreign-policy résumé help or hurt his reelection efforts?

Democrats (95 votes)

Help a lot: 34%
Help: 58%
No effect: 8%
Hurt: 0%
Hurt a lot: 0%

Help a lot


“Ending wars, rebuilding America’s reputation, and reasserting our global leadership position are accomplishments he, and we, can be proud of.”

“He killed bin Laden; the GOP risks looking extremely shrill by trying to undermine the president’s national-security and foreign-policy credentials. They could hardly have a worse messenger than Mitt
as their nominee in a matchup against Obama on that front.”

“No one else can say they killed Osama bin Laden and got us out of Iraq.”

“Four words: Osama bin Laden dead.”

“Foreign policy and defense issues are typically a Democratic weakness. The fact that this president tracked down Osama, wound down the war in Iraq, and has a plan to keep up the pressure as needed in Afghanistan and Iran makes these issues a Democratic strength, and not a weakness. Mitt may be a successful business guy who likes to fire people, but Barack is a wartime president who’s getting the job done.”

“Killing bin Laden. Nothing else matters in comparison.”


“He killed bin Laden and ended the Iraq war, as he promised. Did I mention that he killed bin Laden?”

“There’s a natural advantage here for any incumbent president—Obama has a legitimate case that he has navigated some incredibly choppy waters as well as any president could have been expected
to do.”

“For the first time in a generation, a Democrat can run on—and not from—security and foreign policy.”


On balance, will President Obama’s foreign-policy résumé help or hurt his reelection efforts?

Republicans (94 votes)

Help a lot: 1%
Help: 27%
No effect: 38%
Hurt: 28%
Hurt a lot: 6%


“One of the more interesting surprises of the election, given his lack of experience in this area at the outset of his term.”

“Three words: Offed bin Laden. Shows results, though not a game-changer for his election prospects.”

“In spite of partisan criticism, Obama’s foreign policy under Hillary [Rodham] Clinton is one of the bright spots of his administration and should help him. However, unless there is a foreign crisis around the election, foreign policy will not be the focus of this race.”

No effect

“Reelection politics start and end at home. This race will be decided on jobs and how people feel about their personal financial security.”

“Obama’s foreign policy is a Rorschach test: Voters see what they want to see. He’s either deft or feckless, whichever you already supposed.”

“Frankly, the Osama bin Laden accomplishment will erase a lot of foreign-policy mishaps, so it evens things out. For first time, national security will not be a big GOP edge.”


“Other than ordering the SEALs to take out bin Laden, what has he actually done?”

“Leading from behind does not reflect the leadership role that America plays as the most powerful nation in the world.”

“ ‘Flexibility’ with Russia washes away the good feeling of killing bin Laden. Woe to Obama if Iran acts up before Election Day and the Israelis take action alone.”


Who would be the strongest GOP choice for vice president?

Democrats (91 votes)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 18%
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: 0%
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: 7%
Sen. Rob Portman: 23%
Sen. Marco Rubio: 28%
Rep. Paul Ryan: 8%

(Other vote recipients: Rick Santorum, 2; “a woman,” 2; South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, 1; New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, 1; and Ronald Reagan, 1.)

Gov. Chris Christie

“Mostly because he’s not regarded as a nut—and Romney needs someone to balance the crazy positions he’s taken to win the nomination.”

Gov. Bob McDonnell

“He helps with Christian conservatives and puts Virginia in play.”

Sen. Rob Portman

“It is not about sizzle.  Portman would make a great VP - highly qualified, highly competent, and from Ohio.”

“Portman may give Romney a fighting chance in Ohio, but he may also be too bland for the much needed energy injection Romney will covet after this bruising primary.”

Sen. Marco Rubio

“Florida, Florida, Florida.”

“He’s a three-fer: young, Hispanic and from what may be the most important state—a la 2000.”

“Rubio disrupts Obama’s Hispanic strategy in Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, and other states.”

Rep. Paul Ryan

“Brings complete conservative cred. Geographic diversity.”


“Do you really not have [Santorum] on the list?  Blue-collar appeal, exciting to the base, and a real person. Three things Romney isn’t.”


Who would be the strongest GOP choice for vice president?

Republicans (91 votes)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 12%
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: 2%
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: 9%
Sen. Rob Portman: 22%
Sen. Marco Rubio: 34%
Rep. Paul Ryan: 12%

(Other vote recipients: New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, 3; Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, 1; Rick Santorum, 1. )

Gov. Chris Christie

“He will make up for the lack of conviction and firm principles on the part of Romney.  He’ll wipe the floor with Biden in the debates.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal

“Extremely popular governor from the South who is a wonderful communicator and brings an interesting diversity to the ticket—this makes all kinds of sense.”

Gov. Bob McDonnell

“Proven conservative who is popular, is Catholic, and is experienced enough to be credible. Don’t overlook the importance of Virginia as a swing state where winning probably nets you a Senate seat as well, which you can’t say about Ohio, New Jersey, or Wisconsin.”

Sen. Rob Portman

“Not only is he eminently qualified to be president but, even more importantly, no Republican as ever been elected President without carrying the state of Ohio.”

“Portman is strongest if Romney is leading or tied going into the convention, as he won’t make mistakes. But only Rubio or Martinez could help Romney come from behind.”

Sen. Marco Rubio

“Hispanic, swing state, conservative. The only question—is he ready?”

“Rubio gets tea partiers and other movement conservatives; he will appeal to some younger voters; and he has the kind of focused message discipline that Christie and Ryan don’t have.”

Rep. Paul Ryan



Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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