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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending May 9, 2015

Saturday, May 09, 2015

As the Rolling Stones once told us, you can’t always get what you want. Voters know exactly what that means.

Take illegal immigration. Sixty-three percent (63%) of Likely U.S. Voters, for example, now think gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States. Most voters have felt this way in regular surveys for years, but this is the highest level of support for border control since December 2011.

Instead, Hillary Clinton, the candidate 57% expect to be the next president of the United States, vowed this week, if elected, to speed the citizenship process for illegal immigrants. 

Or how about Obamacare? Most voters still don’t like that law for a variety of reasons. One thing they’ve been consistently adamant about is having more personal choice when it comes to health insurance coverage than the law allows them to have. But no changes are on the political horizon.

Most voters continue to favor across-the-board spending cuts by the federal government as they have for years, but more than ever don’t expect the government to oblige. Congress has now passed a 10-year budget with some cuts included, but President Obama and most congressional Democrats are expected to stop its ultimate passage.

Of course, voters have been known to send mixed signals, too. After all, support for more spending on defense still remains higher than it has been in several years.

But then following the abortive terrorist attack in Texas last weekend, most Americans agree that Islamic terrorism is now a bigger threat inside the United States.

Congress’s ratings are still nothing to celebrate, but voters have a slightly more favorable opinion of their local congressional representative.

Republicans and Democrats are tied on the latest Generic Congressional Ballot.

The president’s daily job approval ratings remain in the negative teens.

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Republicans think Mike Huckabee has the best chance of getting the 2016 GOP presidential nomination of the three new contenders in the race this week, but then he’s the best-known of the trio that also includes retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

Twenty-three percent (23%) of Likely Democratic Voters believe Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is likely to win the Democratic presidential nomination, but only four percent (4%) consider that Very Likely. By comparison, an overwhelming 91% of Democrats believe Hillary Clinton is likely to be their party’s presidential nominee in 2016, including 66% who say it is Very Likely.

But we beg to differ with the New York Times’ claim this week that their polling shows that Americans don’t care about Clinton’s e-mail and Clinton Foundation problems.

The 2016 presidential race has its first self-described socialist candidate now that Sanders is running for the Democratic nomination, but most voters see that political label as toxic.  Pro-gun is the best thing – and one of the worst things – candidates can call themselves on our latest list of political labels.

Another message for presidential hopefuls: Comparing yourself to Obama or his predecessor, George W. Bush, is a much better idea during primary season than it is during the general election.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of adults think Americans are less tolerant of each other’s political opinions than they were in the past.

In other surveys last week:

-- Don’t forget tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Americans place slightly more importance on Mother’s Day and the role of motherhood in general this year.

-- Most Americans continue to favor a government-recognized National Day of Prayer.

-- Voters overwhelmingly favor requiring cops to wear uniform cameras, but will it make us all safer?

-- Americans still strongly believe their fellow citizens could use some manners.

-- Just 27% of Likely U.S. Voters now think the country is heading in the right direction.

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