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

Saturday, October 13, 2018

While Category 4 Hurricane Michael ripped through the Florida panhandle and the Mid-Atlantic States this week, stock market selloffs driven by rising interest rates and international trade uncertainties tore into capital valuation and retirement portfolios.  But the downturn paused yesterday, the same day a Turkish court ordered the release of American Pastor Andrew Brunson.

With the release of last week’s jobs report reflecting a near 50-year low for unemployment, consumer confidence has started to rise once again.

Fewer Americans than ever now know someone out of work.

Despite escalating tensions between China and the United States over new tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, voters are much more optimistic these days in the United States’ trade future with China.

How will recent news, including a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, a strong U.S. economy, successful placement of Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, and progress in international relations affect voters’ choices next month?

It’s difficult to say, but with 24 days to the midterm Election Day, the Generic Congressional Ballot is now dead even.

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As the midterm elections draw near, voters are seeing President Trump as more of a positive than they did a year ago.

Voters are now more confident than they have been in over six years that U.S. elections are fair to voters, though more than one-in-four still think it’s too easy today to vote in this country.

Also, voters are less enthusiastic these days about taking the Electoral College out of the presidential election process. Interestingly, opponents of the Electoral College are less likely to know what it does.

Meanwhile, it’s a done deal: Judge Brett Kavanaugh is now a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, and voters tend to think that’s okay.

Republicans are madder about the Kavanaugh controversy than Democrats and are more determined to vote in the upcoming elections because of it.

In other surveys last week:

-- California now requires all publicly traded companies in the state to have at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019. While men and women don’t see eye-to-eye on whether they’d want a law like this in their state, they do agree that the decision shouldn’t be up to the government.

-- The sexual assault allegations against new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh have renewed discussions about women’s role in society, and most voters now see a bigger place for women leaders. But voters still don't buy into Hillary Clinton's rosy view of a female future.

-- Discussions of sexual harassment and sexual assault still dominate the public and political sphere. Nonetheless, slightly fewer Americans now consider sexual harassment in the workplace a serious problem than they did a year ago, even though the number of instances hasn’t changed.

-- Schools in New Jersey may soon be required to screen all middle and high school students for depression, and with the teen suicide rate climbing, many think that’s a good idea.

-- Forty-three percent (43%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction.

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