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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls Week of April 26

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Who’s in charge here?

Voters continue to believe Democrats have more of a plan for the future than Republicans do, but 53% think it is fair to say that neither party in Congress is the party of the American people.

The number of voters who rate President Obama’s leadership as poor (45%) is at its highest level ever.  His daily job approval rating remains in the negative mid- to high teens where it’s been for most of his presidency.

Only 35% now believe the United States and its allies are winning the War on Terror, and just 39% think the country is safer than it was before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. That’s the lowest level of confidence on both questions in three years.

Meanwhile, even as the president tightens the screws on Russia over the political crisis in Ukraine, just 26% of voters view Ukraine as a vital national security interest for the United States these days.

On the home front, 61% now favor building the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Texas, the highest level of support yet. But the Obama administration is delaying a decision on building the pipeline until after the Nebraska Supreme Court rules on a legal challenge by environmentalists.

A sizable number of Americans think the environment is getting worse, and 47% are willing to pay more in taxes and utility costs to clean it up. But half (24%) of that group would be willing to pay only $100 more per year. Forty-six percent (46%) aren’t willing to pay a dime more.

Looking back, voters by a 49% to 30% margin continue to believe the government bailouts of the financial industry were bad for America.

Despite the bailouts, only 50% of Americans are even somewhat confident in the stability of the nation’s banks, with just 10% who are Very Confident. In July 2008, prior to the Wall Street meltdown, 68% were confident in the banking system.

Consumer and investor confidence remain little changed from where they have been in recent months.

Thirty-four percent (34%) of Americans say now is a good time for someone in their area to sell a house.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) expect their home’s value to go up over the next year. That's the highest level of optimism since October.

Twenty-four percent (24%) of all Americans think that if someone cannot afford to make their mortgage payments, the government should assist them in making those payments. Sixty-one percent (61%), however, say they should sell their house and buy a cheaper one.

Most Americans say they are paying the same amount in interest as they were a year ago, but 50% expect to be paying more in a year’s time.

Forty-five percent (45%) of voters now view the new national health care law at least somewhat favorably, the highest level of support since October, but 51% continue to hold an unfavorable opinion of it.

Republicans have edged ahead of Democrats by one point on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a case aimed at overturning an Ohio law that makes it a crime to make false statements in a political campaign. But 55% of voters believe the government should be allowed to review political ads and candidates’ campaign comments for their accuracy and punish those that it decides are making false statements about other candidates.

The Supreme Court this week also upheld a Michigan law that prohibits the use of race as a determining factor in college admissions. Just 25% of Americans favor applying affirmative action policies to college admissions.

Thirty-six percent (36%) of voters think that if more money is spent on the public schools, student performance would improve.  Twenty-four percent (24%) consider the amount that is currently spent to be too much, while 28% say it’s about right.

In other surveys this week:

-- Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction.

-- Only 21% of Likely Florida Voters think Senator Marco Rubio should run for the presidency in 2016. However, 32% say they would vote for their senator if he is the Republican presidential candidate.

-- Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, who Rubio defeated in the 2010 Senate race, leads incumbent GOP Governor Rick Scott 45% to 39% in Rasmussen Reports' first look at Florida’s 2014 gubernatorial race.

-- Republican Governor Sam Brownback leads Democratic challenger Paul Davis by seven points in his bid for reelection in Kansas.

-- Fifty-four percent (54%) of Americans planned to attend a church service to celebrate Easter.

-- Eighteen percent (18%) of Americans planned to celebrate Earth Day this past Monday.

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