By Julian Pecquet - 10/15/12 01:36 PM EDT
“On a certain level, Democrats may be a little more focused on domestic economic issues and really see that as where the action is,” Geoffrey Garin, the president of Hart Research Associates and the chief strategist for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid, told The Hill during a conference call announcing the poll results. But it's possible “Republican voters want to hear more about this from Gov. Romney's side, see an opportunity to press an advantage.”
The poll comes a week before the two candidates face off on foreign-policy questions during their final debate next Monday. Foreign-policy questions are also expected to be part of Tuesday's town-hall style debate in Hempstead, N.Y.
While the economy has been the dominant issue in the race, in recent weeks Romney has hit Obama hard over his handling of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Romney also has accused Obama of telegraphing the 2014 timeline for the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan to the Taliban and called for more sanctions on Iran. The Obama campaign counters that Romney is criticizing the president's leadership on those issues without offering real alternatives.
The poll also found that 74 percent of voters said a candidate's position on foreign policy will factor in how they vote. Asked why foreign policy was important, respondents said it's important for the president to be able to bring allies together, be a leader in the world and pursue a foreign policy that keeps the United States safe and secure.
“As presidential candidates prepare to debate international affairs, it’s clear that U.S. voters see global issues as having a real impact here at home,” said Peter Yeo, executive director of the Better World Campaign. “The data shows Americans want a candidate who champions strong international cooperation and who will work collaboratively with international organizations like the United Nations. As we prepare for the next two debates that will address international affairs, now is an apt time for the candidates to address America’s role in the world.”