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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending September 10, 2016

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of the Islamic terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 that killed 3,000 Americans and injured another 6,000. How quickly we forget. Or did we learn anything to begin with?

A sizable number of Americans feel their fellow countrymen have forgotten the horrors of 9/11 already. Interestingly, more are saying Muslims in this country have been mistreated ever since, even as they fear a domestic terror attack more than ever.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters think the federal government does not focus enough on the threat of domestic Islamic terrorism.  Just 26% of the nation’s voters think the country is safer than it was before 9/11, the lowest level of confidence ever.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton refuse to say it for fear of offending Muslims, but most voters continue to believe the United States is at war with radical Islamic terrorism. Eighty-six percent (86%) consider radical Islamic terrorism a serious threat to the United States.

Only 21% think the Islamic community in this country has been vocal enough in its condemnation of terrorist attacks.

The good news for Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is that voters tend to think he would do a better job than Clinton protecting them from terrorists.

The bad news is that his trust advantage over Clinton in the areas of the economy and immigration has all but vanished. Yet despite her service as secretary of State, Clinton remains tied with Trump in the area of national security.

The seesaw battle between Clinton and Trump finds the Democratic nominee back in the lead in our latest weekly White Watch survey.

As with virtually every major issue we survey on these days, political party affiliation determines a voter’s views about America’s relationship with the rest of the world. Democrats think it’s great; Republicans and unaffiliated voters are a lot more skeptical.

The economy remains the number one issue for voters this election cycle, but Republicans are a lot more worried about national security than Democrats and unaffiliated voters are.

All voters strongly agree that a candidate’s health is an important voting issue, but while most Republicans and unaffiliateds think the state of Clinton’s health is worth exploring, the majority of Democrats disagree.

The Obama administration and senior congressional Democrats have expressed increasing alarm about cyberintrusions on at least two state election systems and about the release of internal Democratic Party documents obtained by computer hackers. They claim Russia is trying to influence the upcoming election, although they have yet to provide any proof. Russia has denied any involvement. Voters aren’t worried though: 94% expect their vote to be correctly counted and recorded.

Online voting is considered most at risk from computer hackers. Just 32% of voters favor online voting where they live, perhaps in part because 63% believe there is a higher risk of fraud from this method of voting.

Critics of laws requiring voters to show photo identification before voting insist that they’re discriminatory and deny certain voters their rights. But voters have long believed that voters should be required to show photo identification such as a driver’s license before being allowed to vote and that such laws don’t discriminate.

Only four percent (4%) say they personally have been illegally denied the right to vote.

Thirty-one percent (31%) of voters Strongly Approved of the president's job performance in August, while 38% Strongly Disapproved. This gives Obama a full-month Presidential Approval Index rating of -7, his highest monthly approval rating since February 2013. His daily job approval ratings remain higher than average so far this month.

Yet just 28% think the nation is heading in the right direction.

The president has decided to start implementing the Paris climate change accord even though the Senate hasn't approved it. Voters have long opposed Obama's use of go-it-alone executive actions and don’t support the Paris accord, even though they worry about the impact of global warming.

In other surveys last week:

-- What confidence consumers lacked in the direction of their personal finances last month, they are certainly making up for at the start of September, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports Consumer Spending Update.

-- Do you watch too much TV? Your fellow Americans seem to think so.

-- Forty-two percent (42%) of Americans celebrate Labor Day as it was originally intended, as a holiday honoring the contribution of workers in society.

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