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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending October 21, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sexual abuse and the treatment of women in the workplace continued to capture national attention this week as the number of allegations of sexual assault and rape against former Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein grew. The allegations resulted in Weinstein being fired from the company he founded and the opening of criminal investigations against him.  Many say the Hollywood issue transcends Weinstein. 

Most Americans see sexual harassment in the workplace as a serious problem, and nearly half have experienced it themselves or know someone who has. 

Americans also continue to think the politics of Hollywood bend to the left and that the film industry has a negative impact on society.

Most Americans think, generally speaking, men and women are equally capable of doing virtually all jobs.

However, Americans aren’t on board with the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) plans to begin admitting girls into their ranks amid declining membership. Despite recognizing the difficulty of getting kids to become scouts, most Americans think Boy Scouts should just be for the boys.

While many thought the drive to repeal and replace Obamacare was sidelined for a while, President Trump presses on.

Rattling Congress and the health care insurance industry, Trump last week cut off Obamacare cost-sharing reduction subsidies to insurers to hold down the cost of consumer premiums. Without the subsidies, Obamacare premiums are expected to rise 20% to 50%, depending on the plan, and more voters are now willing to front those costs to help cushion the blow for those who can’t afford it.

Trump rolled back an Obama-era mandate that required employer-based health care plans to cover prescription contraceptives. But new polling shows rising support for such a mandate.

Tussling over travel restrictions also continues. Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland have blocked Trump’s latest attempt at a travel ban, but roughly half of voters still want one

“In America, we don’t worship government—we worship God,” Trump said last Friday, reaffirming his administration’s promise to guard the religious liberties of Americans. Voters are nearly evenly split on whether the federal government is a protector of or threat to U.S. religious rights, but they are more inclined than in previous years to see it as a protector.

In other surveys last week:

-- Most Americans think individuals are responsible for their actions, but that people are held less accountable now than in the past.

-- U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty this week to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. He was captured by the Taliban in 2009 after he walked off his base in Afghanistan, and it appears voters are less upset these days with the Obama administration’s decision to swap several Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl

-- Voters remain critical of free trade in general but suspect that the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) initiated by Trump will produce something better for the United States.

-- After controlling two branches of government for nine months, the GOP has struggled to pass the agenda it ran on for years, most notably its promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. With Congress's approval ratings hovering in the low teens, most Americans now believe government isn't the solution to our problems, but that government is the problem, the subject of this week's Rasmussen Minute.

-- Thirty-one percent (31%) of voters now think the country is heading in the right direction.

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