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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending October 20, 2018

Saturday, October 20, 2018

With just a little over two weeks left until Election Day, the battle for control of Congress looks closer to us than it does for a lot of other pollsters.

The Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot remains in a near tie after the Democrats’ longtime lead vanished following the Kavanaugh confirmation controversy.

Republicans are madder about the Kavanaugh thing than Democrats are and more determined to vote in the upcoming elections because of it.Will they still feel that way a couple weeks from now?

Most voters think Democrats are likely to take charge of the House of Representatives following next month’s elections but expect them to fall short of capturing the Senate.

Just before the 2014 midterm elections, 62% of voters said a GOP takeover of the Senate was likely, but only 34% thought Democrats would win control of the House. Republicans gained seats in both chambers to take full control of the Congress.

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Voters are much more confident in Congress than they have been in over a year following the Kavanaugh confirmation.

Hillary Clinton recently urged Democrats not to be civil with Republicans over political issues, prompting rare disagreement from former First Lady Michelle Obama. Voters also disagree with Clinton but, unlike her, don’t expect things to improve even if Democrats return to power in Congress.

Pocahontas or president? Despite Senator Elizabeth Warren’s bungled attempt this week to prove her claims of Native American heritage, the Massachusetts Democrat edges President Trump in a hypothetical 2020 presidential election matchup.

A survey in January found TV personality Oprah Winfrey beating Trump 48% to 38% in a hypothetical 2020 matchup.

The president earned 47% approval among likely voters in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll on Friday, down from a high of 51% at the beginning of the week.

Now that Gallup has quit the field, Rasmussen Reports is the only nationally recognized public opinion firm that still tracks President Trump's job approval ratings on a daily basis. If your organization is interested in a weekly or longer sponsorship of Rasmussen Reports' Daily Presidential Tracking Poll,  please send e-mail to  beth@rasmussenreports.com  .

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters now have a favorable opinion of First Lady Melania Trump, comparable to attitudes about Michelle Obama in her husband’s last year in office.

Forty-three percent (43%) of voters say the country is headed in the right direction.

With unemployment at a near-50-year low, consumer and economic confidence, already near record highs, have started to rise once again.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of voters say they still get their political news from news reports, but that’s down from 74% before the mid-term elections eight years ago.

While this is the season of candidate debates, voters are almost evenly divided over whether debates help voters to decide or are just a waste of time.

A lot of voters don't like it when candidates in their state finance their campaigns with money from outsiders, and they aren't moved much by celebrity or political endorsements from out-of-staters either.

Only 12% say the political views of celebrities are important to their own political thinking.

In other surveys last week:

-- Americans like Amazon but worry that the online mega-market will continue to put more traditional retail outlets like Sears out of business.

-- The iconic Sears, Roebuck and Co. this week joined the list of retail giants who have filed for bankruptcy as Americans continue to gravitate to online shopping outlets. A startling 86% say they have purchased an item from Sears at some point in their lives.

-- Flu season didn’t hit too many Americans last winter, but nonetheless, most still plan to get a flu shot this year.

-- Pennsylvania is considering legislation that would require all state lawmakers to be tested for illegal drugs, and voters think that’s a great idea.

-- Sixty-one percent (61%) of Americans believe drug testing should be required of applicants for all or most jobs.

Visit the Rasmussen Reports home page for the latest current polling coverage of events in the news. The page is updated several times each day.

Remember, if it's in the news, it's in our polls.

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