Some 52 percent of voters think the country is weaker and less powerful today than it was six years ago. That’s three times the 17 percent who say the country is stronger and more powerful. About 3 in 10 think it is unchanged (29 percent).
Last year, 48 percent said weaker, 24 percent stronger and 27 percent unchanged (Feb. 2013).
The number of Democrats saying the country is stronger now has dropped 11 percentage points: it’s 32 percent today, down from 43 percent in 2013. Twenty-two percent of Democrats say the country is weaker and 44 percent say it is the same.
Views among Republicans are lopsided: 78 percent say the country is weaker under Obama vs. five percent stronger.
The poll also shows a significant deterioration in Americans’ sense of security over the past decade. In 2004, by a 35-point margin, more voters said the U.S. was safer than before 9/11. In 2010, nearly two years into Obama’s first term, the margin had narrowed to 23 points. Now the spread is down to 10 points: 49 percent think the country is safer today, while a record-high 39 percent say it is less safe.