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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending September 15, 2018

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Storms over the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court and off the coast of the Carolinas dominated this week’s headlines, but both turned out to be less powerful than originally projected.

Confidence that Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be the next U.S. Supreme Court justice has jumped following his tempestuous Senate confirmation hearings.

Democrats insist their fight against Kavanaugh is based on the issues, but Republicans and independent voters think it’s chiefly about politics.  

Voters give senators who support Kavanaugh the electoral edge this November.

That’s good news for some incumbents, since most voters say they are likely to vote for someone new in the upcoming midterm elections.

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Incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and retiring Republican Governor Rick Scott are in a virtual tie in Rasmussen Reports' first look at the hotly contested U.S. Senate race in Florida 

Forty-seven percent (47%) of voters in the Sunshine State say the upcoming election is a referendum on President Trump’s agenda, while slightly fewer (43%) say it’s more about the candidates and issues. This compares to 48% and 38% respectively among voters nationwide.

The president’s daily job approval rating remains in the mid- to upper 40s again this week.

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Democrat Andrew Gillum holds a six-point lead over Republican Ron DeSantis in the race to be Florida’s next governor.

When asked about the massacre in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School near Miami, just 39% of Florida voters blame the lack of adequate gun control. Fifty-three percent (53%) say the failure of government agencies to respond to numerous warning signs from the prospective killer is more to blame. This is comparable to findings nationally.

Gillum earns 88% support among voters who blame a lack of adequate gun control. DeSantis gets 69% of the vote from those who think the failure of government agencies is more to blame.

Voters feel more strongly than they have in years that a candidate’s political positions carry more weight than how much money he or she has to spend on their campaign.

Former President Obama is back on the campaign trail, but only 38% say they are more likely to vote for a candidate he campaigns for.

Democrats continue to hold a slight lead on the latest Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of Democrats say they’re more likely to contribute time or money to a campaign this year, compared to 30% of Republicans and 26% of voters not affiliated with either major political party.

Most voters continue to favor a smaller, more hands-off government with lower taxes than a larger, more hands-on one with higher taxes. But while voters think Republicans share their beliefs, they see Democrats as preferring bigger government instead.

Voters agree with the president that the country needs to “drain the swamp” of the political establishment, but they’re not optimistic he’ll get the job done because of resistance from most politicians.

Despite the release of additional private text messages this week discussing an anti-Trump effort among senior federal law enforcement officials, most voters don’t expect anyone to be punished.

As recently as late April, 54% favored the naming of a special prosecutor to investigate the FBI’s actions during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Tuesday marked the 17th  anniversary of the radical Islamic terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 that killed 3,000 Americans and injured another 6,000. Americans are more convinced these days that their sacrifice has not been forgotten, although many still wonder.

Voters are more confident than they have been in years that the country is safer today than it was before the 9/11 attacks, and confidence that the United States and its allies are winning the ongoing War on Terror is at its highest level since 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed seven years ago.

Eighty-six percent (86%) of voters approved of Obama's decision authorizing the mission to kill bin Laden in early May 2011 just after it happened. Fourteen percent (14%) would have preferred to bring bin Laden to trial.

In other surveys last week:

-- Forty-two percent (42%) of voters say the country is headed in the right direction.

-- Twenty-three percent (23%) of Americans are more likely to buy Nike products now that the company has hired former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as its new spokesman.Thirty-eight percent (38%) are less likely to buy Nike now.

-- Twenty-five percent (25%) of National Football League fans say they are less likely to follow the league this season if the on-field protests inspired by Kaepernick continue.

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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