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

Saturday, November 21, 2015

President Obama is at odds with the American people again this week.

The president is still insisting on bringing 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States next year even though more than two-dozen governors, citing the links between those refugees and the terrorist killers in Paris last weekend, are asking that the Syrians not be settled in their states. Reflecting these national security concerns, the House on Thursday passed a bipartisan measure “pausing” Obama’s plan, with enough Democratic votes to override his threatened veto.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters oppose the president’s plan to bring the Syrians here, and 60% don’t want them settled in the state they live in. But the president is adamant, and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has vowed to prevent the “pause” measure from passing in his chamber.

But then Reid, Obama, Hillary Clinton and other senior Democrats also refuse to say America is at war with “radical Islamic terrorism” for fear of insulting all Muslims. Sixty percent (60%) of U.S. voters, on the other hand, say the United States is at war with radical Islamic terrorism, and 73% view that terrorism as a Very Serious threat to the United States.

Donald Trump and the other Republican presidential hopefuls argue that if America doesn’t identify radical Islamic terrorism as the enemy, it can’t begin to win the War on Terror

Even before the attacks in Paris, voters were less confident in their safety here at home than they have ever been.  

Of course, it’s hardly a novelty that the president is at odds with the voting public. The Justice Department yesterday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court ruling stopping Obama’s amnesty plan for illegal immigrants. Most voters have long opposed the president’s plan to exempt up to five million illegals from deportation. 

The same goes for Obamacare. Most voters still have an unfavorable opinion of the health care law and have felt that way in regular surveying since its passage by Congress in March 2010. Just 13% think Congress and the president should leave the health care law as is, but the president refuses to consider any changes.

Both the amnesty plan and the health care law are the subject of legal challenges by over 25 states, and if the president goes ahead with his plans for bringing the Syrians here, it’s likely that will be a third measure challenged in court by more than half of the states in the union.

The president’s daily job approval rating fell to the -20 range late in the week. We’ll be watching to see if this is a trend in the making.

Our latest monthly Hillary Meter finds that Democratic voters are more convinced than they have been in months that Clinton will be their nominee. But the former first lady and secretary of State isn’t exciting younger voters in her party.

Clinton also has few fans in the military.

Our weekly Trump Change survey suggests that Trump's tough response to the massacres in Paris has helped him regain some lost ground in the Republican presidential contest.

In last week’s Republican debate, Senator Rand Paul criticized fellow Senator Marco Rubio for his calls to substantially increase defense spending when the United States already spends more on its military than the next 10 countries combined. Turns out just half of U.S. voters are aware of how much this country spends on defense compared to the rest of the world, and a plurality wants the figure to increase.

Black Lives Matter or all lives matter is an ongoing political debate, but a New York Daily News/Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that most voters aren't convinced that the Black Lives Matter movement is interested in justice for all.

In other surveys last week:

-- Just 28% of voters think the United States is headed in the right direction.

-- Thanksgiving and Black Friday are just around the corner, meaning Rasmussen Reports will begin rolling out its annual holiday shopping polling in the coming weeks. Are consumers ready to spend?

-- More than three-quarters of Americans who are now in the military or have previously served have little doubt that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a major problem for veterans, according to a new RallyPoint/Rasmussen Reports survey.

-- The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has proposed banning smoking in all of the nation’s 1.2 million public housing units. Voters like the idea but seriously doubt that it will work. 

-- Americans agree on the importance of sleep, but a sizable number say they don't get enough of it.

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