With the South Carolina Republican primary scheduled for February, where presidential candidates stand on national security and terrorism will determine who voters choose in the 2016 Republican primaries and caucuses, the Honorable Mike Rogers, honorary chairman of Americans for Peace Prosperity and Security (APPS), said.
“Americans want a president who understands that stability abroad brings prosperity at home,” Rogers, former chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, told Palmetto Business News.
As host of “Something to Think About” on Westwood One and a CNN national security commentator, Rogers said the ongoing work of APPS continues to raise the profile of these critical issues among voters seeking the Republican nominee for commander-in-chief.
Timing is crucial as February heats up with the Iowa caucuses slated for Feb. 1; the New Hampshire primaries set for Feb. 9, followed by the South Carolina Republican presidential primary Feb. 20; and then the Nevada Republican caucuses unfold Feb. 23.
National security is the most important issue this election and voters are insisting on a candidate with solutions to those issues, Rogers added.
“Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security has one mission: to educate voters in early presidential nominating states on issues related to our nation's security,” Rogers said. “After 23 presidential candidate forums, email newsletters, blog posts and news clippings, APPS polls in Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire show our work is making a difference."
And according to APPS’ detailed findings from a new public opinion survey — conducted Dec. 1-3 in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — the specific national security concern among likely 2016 Republican caucus goers and primary voters is terrorism.
“Our polls show terrorism is overwhelmingly the top issue on [their] minds,” Rogers said.
Specifically, Rogers said, the APPS GOP South Carolina poll shows 24 percent of likely Republican primary voters would trust candidate Donald Trump; 17 percent would vote for Ted Cruz; 15 percent said Jeb Bush; and 13 percent said Marco Rubio could handle issues related to national security.
Overall, the APPS survey results prescribe the winning profile for the GOP’s presidential nominee as:
a candidate who embraces and promotes national security as the top issue facing the county; one who is perceived as a “national security” candidate rather than an “economic” or “religious liberty” candidate; a candidate who demonstrates experience and depth of knowledge regarding terrorism and national security — 75 percent of Republicans call it “very important” to their vote; one who recognizes ISIS as “the greatest risk to America’s national security” and who has a plan to defeat it; and a candidate who can reassure voters that the failures of the Iranian nuclear deal and the rise of ISIS will be addressed with new American leadership.
“There is no doubt we are living in extremely uncertain times, and voters are rightly looking for a candidate who will be ready to be commander-in-chief on day one," Rogers said.