The Obama administration's hastily-revised ban on vetting foreign visa applicants' social media footprint was reportedly implemented and enforced due to fears over a potential "public relations" backlash. In a dark twist, after the San Bernardino terrorist attack and the public revelation of this previously-secret rule, Team Smart Power does have quite a PR mess on its hands -- just not the kind they were evidently so worried about. Americans view the ludicrous and reckless policy as political correctness run amok. "Just crazy:"
By a two-to-one margin, voters reject this dangerous posturing, fueling a prevailing sense that the Obama administration is not up to the task of protecting national security. A Pew poll we cited on Friday showed the president's job approval on handling terrorism cratering to an all-time low; the latest Fox News national survey reflects that same trend. By a (39/58) margin, voters say Obama is not prepared to "do whatever it takes to defeat Islamic extremists," with fully 75 percent of respondents agreeing that the government has not pursued potential terrorist threats within the US "aggressively enough." Significant majorities believe expanded domestic surveillance, targeted profiling, and increased gun ownership would all be at least "somewhat effective" methods of preventing fatal terrorist attacks on the homeland. The poll also contains yet another data point indicating that Democrats' relentless -- and occasionally absurd -- post-San Bernardino gun control push is a major political loser:
Voters are...unpersuaded by Dems' gun control fixation post-San Bernardino: pic.twitter.com/RPti9OxBZW— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) December 20, 2015
Meanwhile, the survey confirms Donald Trump's significant momentum in the GOP nominating contest. Of the four latest national polls, one showed Trump stagnating, while the others appear to confirm a major surge. In Fox's fresh numbers, The Donald more than doubles the support of his closest competitor (Ted Cruz), and more than triples that of the third place finisher (Marco Rubio). Trump holds commanding leads on national security issues, particularly on the question of which Republican candidate would be most effective against ISIS -- in spite of his recent assertion that the battle against ISIS as not America's fight, his glaring ignorance on fundamental issues, and his policy incoherence. Many Republican voters are responding to projections of strength, as opposed to demonstrations of knowledge and qualifications. The positive Trump trend lines end when polling questions turn to the general electorate. As the billionaire's fortunes improve among GOP voters, his standing against Hillary Clinton continues to deteriorate:
Fox poll (head-to-head*) Rubio 45 - Hillary 43 Cruz 45 - Hillary 45 Carson 44 - Hillary 46 Trump 38 - Hillary 49 <-- *so early— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) December 18, 2015
This is the second nationwide survey in the last week showing Trump down double-digits to Democrats' unpopular, unethical and untrustworthy frontrunner. Trump's favorability rating among key swing demographics -- independents, women, young voters and Hispanics -- remain atrocious, even as the candidate enjoys universal name recognition. And that's before the billion-dollar Clinton/Democratic goes to work against him. The data strongly suggests that average voters are quite different from Trump's hardcore base; negative attacks have backfired in the context of the Republican primary. That won't be the case in the general. Finally, and interestingly, Trump's 'Muslim ban' proposal (which we've contended is unworkable, counter-productive and possibly illegal) garners slim majority support when phrased favorably -- with the margin increasing when Trump's name is left out of the question wording. I'll leave you with this:
CBS poll: Cruz leads Trump by 9 in Iowa, w/ Carson collapse nearly complete: https://t.co/UI4LoJNK6G— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) December 20, 2015