Foreign Policy: Small Advantage Romney

October 31, 2012, 2:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 10/26/2012) The third and last presidential debate focused on foreign policy — but the issue matters little to people, and even though the President was perceived as the "winner" of that debate, the latest Economist/YouGov Poll suggests he still has problems convincing the public that he can do a better job than his Republican opponent in making the country safe.

Nearly twice as many registered who saw the debate said President Obama did the better job in that debate than said Mitt Romney did. 47% said the President won, 30% that Romney did. But viewers more often saw what they wanted to see: hardly any of those committed to one or the other candidate said their opinion of the other had changed for the better.

And on foreign policy questions, there was little change from opinion before the debate. Americans are more likely to say that Mitt Romney would make the United States more safe from terrorism if he were elected than to say the President would do that if he were re-elected.

Romney continues to hold a smaller edge when it comes to making the country more respected in the world. 32% say he would; 28% say the President would.

However, the President gets some of his highest approval ratings on foreign policy questions. 50% approve of how he is handling terrorism (up from 47% last week) and 51% approve his handling of the war in Afghanistan (up from 45% last week).

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association