Poll: GOP tops Dems on foreign policy

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The poll comes as the United States considers military action in Syria after President Obama's administration concluded that President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on his own people last month. In recent days, negotiations have broken out that would require Syria to give up its chemical weapons and avoid a U.S. strike in the country.

Republicans have made a 16-point turnaround in foreign policy since 2006 as public support for the Iraq War diminished. At that time, Democrats held a 9-point advantage. 

Republican gains extend further than foreign policy. The GOP has narrowed the gap in historically Democratic strongholds as well, like healthcare and supporting the middle class.

While Democrats hold an 8-percent edge in healthcare and top the GOP by 17-percent in helping the middle class, both of those numbers hang at historic lows. 

The healthcare gap between Democrats and the GOP has narrowed by half since February, according to the poll.  

But the GOP surge on national issues has not translated to support for the Republican Party as a whole. Less than half of conservatives see their party as favorable, while only 13 percent of independents feel the same, the poll finds. 

The poll surveyed 1,000 national adults and holds a 3 percent margin of error.