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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending June 11, 2016

Saturday, June 11, 2016

This has been Hillary Clinton’s week.

Clinton beat back a strong challenge from Bernie Sanders to win California’s Democratic primary on Tuesday, securing enough delegates to win her party’s presidential nomination. Has Clinton’s wrapping up the nomination made a difference? Have Donald Trump’s comments about the Mexican-American judge presiding over the Trump University case come back to haunt him? Clinton has taken a four-point lead in our latest weekly White House Watch survey.

With the two candidates tied earlier in the week, we took a closer look at the large number of voters who prefer another candidate or are undecided. It remains to be seen if Clinton has broken the logjam after putting Sanders away.

With Clinton poised to become the first woman nominated by a major U.S. political party to be president, most voters still say they’re willing to vote for a woman president and are slightly more confident that those close to them will do the same. But voters are less enthusiastic about a women candidate in general if her opponent is a man.

Obama and other leading Democrats have been lining up this week to endorse Clinton. Thirty-five percent (35%) of voters consider an Obama endorsement important to how they will vote in the presidential contest, although just 15% say it’s Very Important.

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Democrats believe Sanders is likely to endorse Clinton. Seventy-six percent (76%) think it’s likely their party will be unified after its national convention in July.

Unhappy Berniemaniacs need to face the facts: Their man never had a chance.

Trump has been rebuked even by some leaders in his own party for his public criticism of the Obama-appointed federal judge who is handling the lawsuit against Trump University. Most voters agree judges are motivated by politics more than the law but are less comfortable with dragging judges into the political debate.

However, most also told us earlier this week that the Trump University issue will not impact their support of Trump positively or negatively in the upcoming election.

As is the case on most issues Rasmussen Reports has asked about so far, voters tend to think Clinton will perform similarly to Obama when it comes to social issues if she wins the presidency, while they expect big changes from Trump - although not necessarily positive ones. 

Generally speaking, when it comes to the economy and other major issues, voters expect Clinton to continue Obama’s policies and Trump to change them, for better or worse.

The president may be garnering unusually high approval ratings lately, but voters are closely divided as to whether his support would help or hurt candidates running in their state.  They are less likely to vote for a congressional candidate who has supported his agenda.

As school systems wrestle with the flood of illegal immigrants it has allowed into the country, the Obama administration is now counseling local schools to instruct younger students in their native language and help them retain their separate cultural identity. But a sizable majority of voters have long said that when people move to the United States from other parts of the world, they should adopt America’s culture, language and heritage.

No wonder there’s an angry debate over illegal immigration in this country. Most Democrats believe people should be able to freely enter the United States at any time. Republicans strongly disagree, as do a majority of unaffiliated voters.

Philadelphia is the latest major school system to add Muslim holidays to its official calendar, but Americans with school-age children still aren’t sure that’s such a good idea, although support's up from a year ago.

Twenty-seven percent (27%) of voters think most Muslims living in this country are treated unfairly because of their religion and ethnicity, but that compares to 63% who believe most Christians living in the Islamic world are treated unfairly because of their faith.

A majority of Americans describe themselves as religious, though there’s less religiosity among younger adults.

In other surveys last week:

-- Just 27% of voters think the country is heading in the right direction.

-- Rasmussen Reports’ latest Consumer Spending Update suggests that if you’re planning on going out to eat this month, you may want to get a reservation. 

-- Which movement currently taking shape in America resonates with citizens more—Black Lives Matter, fighting to protect blacks from perceived police injustice, or Blue Lives Matter, fighting for the safety of police officers?

-- Muhammad Ali was laid to rest yesterday in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Seventy-three percent (73%) of Americans have a favorable opinion of the late boxing superstar.

-- Despite growing concern about the danger to athletes of receiving too many concussions, Americans question whether professional sports organizations are doing enough about it.

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