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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending August 12, 2017

As tensions with North Korea continue to rise, President Trump’s job approval also turned back up at week’s end.

Most voters think it’s likely the United States will soon be at war with North Korea as the rogue communist nation keeps blustering threats of nuclear annihilation in our direction.

A month ago, 45% already believed the United States should use military force to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Seventy-five percent (75%) said the United Nations and the international community should do more – up to and including military action.

The UN has just increased economic sanctions on North Korea. Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters believe, generally speaking, that economic sanctions against a country are an effective way to make it change policies that the United States does not approve of, but the North Korean government has shown itself more than willing to starve its people to feed the country’s war machine.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday showed that 45% of voters approve of the president’s job performance. A week ago, only 39% approved of the job Trump is doing.

With the stock market continuing to reach all-time highs and unemployment at its lowest level in years, consumers aren’t just feeling better about the economy and their own personal finances. They’re starting to feel better about spending, too.

But most Americans remain on edge that the stock market could collapse again.

Unemployment is trending down, and Americans are more upbeat about their job prospects than they have been in years. That doesn't mean they expect a bigger paycheck.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Americans now believe it's possible for anyone who really wants to work to find a job, the highest level of confidence in over eight years.

Voters, especially Democrats, don’t believe Trump or his policies have anything to do with the economic rebound, though.

Trump often acts like a third-party president, battling with the leaders of both major political parties. Voters are more receptive to a political third party than they have been in recent years, and more than half now say they have voted for a candidate independent of the two major parties.

Thirteen percent (13%) now say they’ve changed the party they identify with in recent months.

Democratic and liberal groups are challenging the president's commission to investigate voter fraud, but most voters still see voter fraud as a serious problem.

Most also continue to favor laws that require voters to show photo identification before being allowing to vote and don't believe such laws discriminate against some voters.

A sizable majority still opposes giving illegal immigrants the vote, even in local elections. Democrats remain much more supportive of the idea than other voters do, however.

California, one of 12 U.S. states that allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, is on track to issue nearly a million such licenses by the end of the year. Most voters also continue to oppose licenses for illegals in the state they live in.

Fewer voters think the terrorists have the upper hand in the ongoing War on Terror, although they don’t believe the U.S. relationship with the Islamic world is getting any better.

Most voters continue to think highly of the U.S. military and feel its primary role is to fight enemies. Just one percent (1%) say setting an example of gender and sexual equality for the rest of U.S. society is the most important mission of the military.

The latest Rasmussen Minute looks at the president’s decision to reverse another Obama-era policy, this one allowing transgender people to serve in the military.

In other surveys last week:

-- Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters say the country is heading in the right direction.

-- The Trump administration plans to investigate affirmative action policies at major universities to see whether they discriminate against white and Asian-American students. Americans still tend to favor accepting the most qualified students over ensuring racial diversity at colleges and universities, but the gap is much narrower than it used to be.

-- In a survey three years ago, 47% of Americans said affirmative action programs discriminated against white applicants.

-- Just 32% of voters think union leaders do a good job representing union members.

Visit the Rasmussen Reports home page for the latest current polling coverage of events in the news. The page is updated several times each day.

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