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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The partial government shutdown enters day 22 and record territory today over the inability of President Trump and Democratic representatives to come to an agreement over funding for a Mexican border wall while the president mulls the possible declaration of a national emergency to fulfill his campaign promise.

Voters think Trump’s border wall is likely to work, but they aren’t prepared to declare a national emergency to build it.

Amid the party standoff, two-out-of-three voters still think illegal immigration is a serious issue, but nearly half of voters think the government isn’t working hard enough to stop it

With the new session of Congress under way, voters aren’t optimistic that things will get any better either, but they are growing more convinced that Congress should follow Trump’s lead.

However, Democrats strongly identify with their congressional representatives, while Republicans still line up more with Trump than with GOP members of Congress.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren announced last week that she was forming an exploratory committee, a major step toward a 2020 presidential campaign. Voters in her party are confident the favored Democrat will go all the way, though voters in general are less convinced.

Voters give Trump the edge over the new Democratic-controlled House of Representatives when it comes to which will be more beneficial to the next Democratic presidential candidate, but Democrats themselves see the House as a bigger factor.

Mitt Romney may have pleased Democrats and the media with his recent op-ed criticizing Trump, but Republican voters by a better than two-to-one margin line up with the president.

Nonetheless, voters continue to think Congress puts the media’s interests ahead of voters, though more now think Congress has their best interests at heart.

Meanwhile the hum of international issues fills the background of domestic politics.

As talk of another U.S.-North Korea summit heats up, voters now consider the nation less of a national security interest but aren’t confident the nuclear agreement between Kim Jong Un and Trump will produce results.

In other surveys last week:

-- Following a rocky few months on Wall Street and the partial government shutdown at the end of December, consumer confidence struggles to keep up the enthusiasm felt throughout 2018.

-- Americans think Democratic candidates are more likely to include lower-income folks in the middle class than Republicans are. GOP candidates are more likely to view higher-income Americans as middle class.

--The new class of Democratic representatives and senators sworn in to Congress brings with it a growing movement of socialist ideologies, but while Democrats are intrigued by the ideas of socialism, they’re not willing to commit to becoming a socialist party.

-- Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters think the country is heading in the right direction, the lowest since early March.

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