Brent Scowcroft Center Assistant Director Alex Ward writes for War on the Rocks on the increasing gap between issues republican voters want to discuss and the rhetoric of the 2016 GOP presidential candidates:

The GOP presidential primary is in full swing. The first debate provided a “clear leader” in Donald Trump, and now the candidates are onto Iowa to “kiss babies” and “eat pork chops” to prove their down-home credentials with the state’s voters. But voters interested in national security and foreign policy — which, according to a GOP-conducted poll, is what Republicans care about most (more so than economic growth, fiscal responsibility, and “moral issues”) — are surely disappointed with the race. So far, the rhetoric has followed a red-meat blueprint that a New York Times editorial rightly noted boils down to “talk tough, make demands, send more troops overseas, pour billions more dollars into the Pentagon, and the world will fall in line.”

Read the full article here.