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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending November 14, 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Democratic presidential hopefuls face off again this weekend, but their debate isn’t likely to impact the race anymore than the latest Republican one did.

Rasmussen Reports will release new numbers on the Democratic race early next week, but front-runner Hillary Clinton is expected to remain far ahead.

The outsiders – Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson - are still leading the pack in our latest look at the Republican presidential primary race following Tuesday night’s debate.

Most Republican voters still see Trump as their party’s likely presidential nominee in our weekly Trump Change survey, but there seems to be less feeling of certainty about it.

This week’s debate highlighted strong differences of opinion among the top Republicans on national security and illegal immigration.

Active duty military and veterans tend to favor increased U.S. combat involvement against the radical Islamic group ISIS more than the public at large does.

Voters in general continue to believe the federal government is not interested in stopping illegal immigration, and support for state rather than federal enforcement of immigration laws is now at its highest level in several years.

A federal appeals court this week ruled against President Obama’s plan to exempt up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation. Twenty-six states have challenged the legality of the president’s action, and most voters have opposed the amnesty plan since he first announced it last year.  Democrats are much more supportive of the president’s plan than Republicans are, though.

Another big area of partisan disagreement is global warming.  Twenty-seven percent (27%) of Democrats now think the government should prosecute groups and businesses who don’t believe in global warming.

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

Even as the presidential candidates for both major parties lay out their agendas for the next four years, voters continue to question whether either side really knows where it’s going.

There’s some positive economic news this week:  Americans are more convinced that their local housing market is good for sellers, although homeowners’ expectations for their own home values have stayed about the same.

Still, just 27%  of voters say again this week that the country is headed in the right direction.

A boycott by the University of Missouri football team prompted the resignation of the school’s top officials this past week and has paved the way for growing protests at campuses around the country. Most Americans still think college sports programs are too powerful and a bad influence on institutions of higher learning

Local crime remains a problem for most Americans who also feel that their cops aren't aggressive enough in dealing with it.

What’s the biggest problem with the prison system these days? Is it too many non-violent offenders filling up prisons, too many innocent people getting arrested or too many criminals set free?

Americans still firmly believe the war on drugs has been a failure, and few think more money will make a difference.

In other surveys last week:

-- A new RallyPoint/Rasmussen Reports survey explores what are the biggest challenges military personnel face as they return to civilian society.

-- Following the murder of five unarmed military personnel in Chattanooga, Tennessee this summer, 81% of active and retired military personnel think members of the armed services with qualified concealed carry licenses should be allowed to carry weapons on domestic bases.

-- We already know most voters support allowing military women to be in combat, but how do those who have actually served in the military feel about this issue?

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