If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.

 

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

Saturday, April 30, 2016

#NeverTrump forces are still counting on Indiana’s Republican primary on Tuesday to derail Donald Trump’s nomination by forcing a brokered convention. But for most voters, a Trump-Hillary Clinton contest this fall is all but inevitable.

Following Trump’s sweep of the five state primaries on Tuesday, belief that he is the likely Republican presidential nominee has soared to its highest level ever and matches perceptions that Clinton will be the Democratic standard-bearer in the fall. 

Ninety-one percent (91%) of Democrats – and 84% of all likely voters - see Clinton as the likely Democratic nominee.

Clinton sealed the deal for the Democratic nomination with her four primary wins on Tuesday, and now Trump is encouraging Bernie Sanders to run as an independent. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Democrats said last month that they are likely to vote for Sanders if he runs as a third-party candidate.

Here’s our latest delegate count following the primaries Tuesday in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island.

Trump and Clinton are tied in a head-to-head matchup. But there’s a wild card: 16%  say they will vote for some other candidate if they are the two major party candidates, while six percent (6%) plan to stay home.

After Trump’s big win on Tuesday, #NeverTrump Republicans have to decide – Trump or Clinton?

Anti-Trump protestors turned violent at a campaign event Thursday night in California. After similar incidents at Trump rallies last month, 52% of voters blamed the candidate’s positions rather than his political opponents, but 83% still felt it is more important for political candidates to tell voters what they really think rather than make sure no one is offended by what they say.

In a major foreign policy address on Wednesday, Trump vowed to build up the U.S. military. Voters tend to believe Obama has weakened the U.S. military, but that doesn't mean they're willing to pay more in taxes to turn the situation around. 

These findings are comparable to those measured when Rasmussen Reports asks voters how much more they are willing to pay annually to combat global warming  or to generate a cleaner environment.

As recently as mid-February, voters were evenly divided when asked which major candidate – Clinton or Trump - they trusted more to handle national security issues

The president continues to get better-than-usual daily job approval ratings. He earned a monthly job approval of 50% in April, up one point from March and the highest finding since April 2013.

Since 2013, the president's monthly job approval rating has typically improved slightly at the beginning of each year and then fallen back. That hasn’t been the case in the final year of his presidency with his numbers steadily improving since January

Still, just 26% of voters think the country is heading in the right direction.

Congress is debating bipartisan legislation to open 28 pages of classified information about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to the public, but the Obama administration is opposing the move for foreign policy reasons. Nevertheless, 74% of Americans believe the U.S. government should make public all information related to the 9/11 attacks with the exception of anything that endangers national security.

The Obama White House is also concerned about a related bill that would allow families victimized by the 9/11 attacks to sue the Saudi Arabian government in U.S. courts if it can be shown to have ties to the killers. Most Americans support the families right to sue.

One result of those attacks is the war in Afghanistan where 9,800 U.S. troops still serve in harm’s way nearly 15 years later. Less than half of voters now support keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan for another year.

In other surveys last week:

-- Parental opposition to standardized testing in schools remains high, even as the latest cycle of tests is beginning in many states. Most parents now say there’s no need for any such tests at all.

-- Most voters continue to have a generally favorable view of the first lady of the United States, but there remain wide political and racial differences of opinion.

-- Michelle Obama started the “Let’s Move” campaign to encourage healthy lifestyle habits in children, pushing exercise, healthy eating and better school nutrition standards. But most Americans believe it's not the federal government's job to decide what school kids eat.

-- Twenty-one percent (21%) of Americans consider the death of the popular musician Prince to be a bigger loss to the nation than the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Most say that is certainly the way the media has treated the two deaths.

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