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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Some of America’s attention has shifted overseas in recent days, but major problems persist on the homefront.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of voters now think the United States is a more divided nation than it was four years ago, and Republicans are the most eager to do something about it at the ballot box.

Voters continue to trust the GOP more than Democrats on the majority of issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports including the economy, government spending and immigration.

Voters still expect Republicans to repeal Obamacare if they take control of Congress in November. As new allegations of fraud surround the troubled rollout process for the law, nearly half of voters have a negative opinion of President Obama’s handling of health care issues.

Democrats have led Republicans for most weeks this year, but the two are tied on the latest Generic Congressional Ballot.

Businessman David Perdue, coming off his Republican runoff win on Tuesday, holds a six-point lead over Democrat Michelle Nunn in Georgia’s closely-watched U.S. Senate race.

Longtime Republican Senator Jim Inhofe appears to be cruising comfortably toward reelection in Oklahoma.

But our first numbers out of the New Mexico governor’s race are quite a surprise.

Is this the new normal? Americans continue to hold a gloomy assessment of the economy’s chances for improvement in both the short- and long-term. Just 25% believe the U.S. economy will be stronger a year from now.

Consumer and investor confidence are down from this year’s highs but remain ahead of where they’ve been for much of the last five years.

Yet even as thousands of new illegal immigrants flood over the border, more Americans than ever say it’s no longer possible for just about anyone in this country to work their way out of poverty.

Voters still give the president mediocre reviews for his handling of both the economy and national security issues. His daily job approval rating remains in the high negative teens.

U.S. voters are overwhelmingly convinced that Russia had a hand in the recent shootdown of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over Ukraine, but they also strongly believe any punishment should be a multinational one and not come from just the United States.

Were the unsuspecting passengers and crew on board accidental casualties of war or deliberate targets? What does America think about the airline shootdown? One thing’s for sure, Americans say the tragedy in Ukraine won’t discourage them from flying in the future.

Even though the president is reportedly sending U.S. military advisers to Ukraine, most voters don’t want the United States to provide military assistance to the government there to help fight pro-Russian rebels. Perhaps in part that’s because they feel more strongly than ever that the U.S.-Soviet Cold War is beginning to repeat itself.

Most voters also oppose more direct U.S. involvement to end the fighting between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza and favor instead cutting some or all U.S. funding to the two sides to force a peace settlement.

In other surveys last week:

-- Twenty-six percent (26%) of voters think the country is heading in the right direction.

-- Most Americans continue to believe crime is a serious problem in this country, and half think there aren’t enough police officers to stop it.

-- Baltimore is just about to institute one of the strictest youth nighttime curfew laws in the country. Most Americans think the curfew is likely to help reduce youth crime and favor such a measure in their community.

-- Most Americans don’t want the federal government in their grocery shopping carts.

-- On a list of some of the world’s best-known conspiracy theories, Americans are most likely to believe the one about JFK‘s assassination. But President George W. Bush and President Obama don't escape suspicion.

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