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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending March 11, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

What went up has now gone down. President Trump’s daily job approval fell below 50% this week for the first time since Inauguration Day.

At week’s end, 48% of voters approved of the job the new president is doing; 52% disapproved. The Friday before, 53% approved; 47% disapproved.

Forty-five percent (45%) still think the country is headed in the right direction.

Voters agree with the president’s emphasis on new jobs in his recent speech to Congress, and most expect him to achieve at least some of the ambitious agenda he laid out.

Most also continue to expect significant government spending cuts over the next few years and agree that any new spending must be offset by budget cuts elsewhere.

To help offset his plans for expanding the military budget, Trump is proposing major cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency. As with nearly all of his proposals, Republicans are strongly in favor, while Democrats are just as strongly opposed.

Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans favor Trump’s proposed $54 billion defense buildup; 70% of Democrats are opposed.

Voters have long been fans of smaller government and less spending. But Republicans continue to be defensive about cuts in military funding, while Democrats remain loyal to entitlements. Voters want a less powerful government, but they know politicians want more power and money instead.

The president this week signed a revised version of his temporary freeze on the entry of people into the United States from several Middle Eastern and African countries. Most voters support Trump’s plan to temporarily halt refugees and visas from certain countries until these newcomers can be properly vetted to screen out potential terrorists.

With the president’s blessings, House Republicans this week introduced a plan to replace Obamacare, but it’s already under fire from all sides. Only 12% of voters want to keep leave Obamacare as is,  but 88% say it’s important for Congress and the president to have some sort of replacement program in place if they repeal it.

Voters feel more strongly than ever that reducing health care costs is more important than mandating health insurance coverage for everyone.

While they’re conflicted over President Obama's place in history, voters agree the passage of Obamacare will be the defining marker of his presidency.

Eighty-three percent (83%), however, think Trump is likely to reverse or abolish most of Obama’s accomplishments.

Republicans and Trump supporters in general strongly suspect that the Obama administration was wiretapping the Trump campaign last year; Democrats and Trump opponents strongly disagree.

Obama is reportedly planning a more visible stand against the new president and the GOP to protect his legacy, but most voters think that’s a bad idea.

Is calling the newly minted president a fraud, delusional, illegitimate and worse a winning strategy for a party that's suffered net losses of over 1,000 state and federal positions, including congressional and state legislative seats and governorships, since 2009?

The majority of voters say it’s bad for America - and bad for the Democratic Party - if Democrats continue to oppose everything the new president does.

If there’s one thing voters across the partisan spectrum agree on, it’s that the media isn’t trying to help Trump. That’s a big change from the Obama years.

In other surveys last week:

-- Voters see the North Koreans as more eager for a war but aren’t overly enthusiastic about doing something militarily about it.

-- Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters don’t think Hillary Clinton should run for mayor of New York City.

-- Despite the feeling of most Americans that the weather has not been worse this year than in recent years, more than ever are hitting the road for a winter escape.

-- O.J. Simpson, the pro football great famously acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, is up for parole this summer from his imprisonment for unrelated crimes. Most Americans don’t want to see Simpson go free

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