Health Care Totally Beats Security: Poll

Hillary Clinton’s camp is positively afloat over the new NBC News/ WSJ poll . Bush’s ratings remain in the dumps, half of Americans want a Democratic president (as opposed to 35 percent who want a Republican commander-in-chief), and it looks like Clinton’s post-debate lead over her closest Democratic opponent is about as wide as her pre-debate lead.

But one of the most interesting findings—and one that certainly benefits Hillary—is this one .

Americans by 52% to 34% call the economy and health care, issues that favor Democrats, more important to their vote than the Republicans’ relative strong suits of terrorism and values. That’s a reversal from the Journal-NBC poll finding just before the 2004 vote that re-elected Mr. Bush and Republican congressional majorities, when voters rated terrorism and values more important, by a 49%-to-39% margin.

The implications for a candidacy like Rudy Giuliani’s couldn’t be more stark. Just yesterday, when announcing his endorsement for the former mayor, Pat Robertson ranked terrorism at the top of America’s priorities. But if this poll is correct—and its impressive 1,500-person sample size gives it extra heft—Rudy’s whole security uber alles approach might be more out of touch with mainstream Americans than he thought. That said, if he really is out of sync, it doesn’t seem to be hurting him so far: The poll shows him and Hillary competing neck and neck, with 46 percent of Americans saying they’d back Hillary to Giuliani’s 45 percent.