Interesting findings from some focus groups of swing voters conducted by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner in partnership with the think tank Third Way. Seems Obama will be the first Democrat in forty years who will be going into a presidential election with high voter approval of his national security record—a consequence of his killing of bin Laden as well as a string of other foreign policy accomplishments.

While the new report stresses that the Democratic Party itself, as distinct from Obama, still suffers from an old image of being too weak and indecisive on national security, the Republican brand has also taken a hit from the Bush years, and swing voters react coolly to what they hear from GOP presidential contenders on the subject.

These two word clouds based on key words from the focus groups give a visual sense of the two party’s reputations with these voters (pretty sure I know which one seems more favorable, but judge for yourself):



Paul Glastris

Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly. A former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, he is writing a book on America’s involvement in the Greek War of Independence.