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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending September 1, 2017

Rolling off a tumultuous news week, Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas and Louisiana dropping record rains in the continental United States and causing widespread flooding, the effects of which will be felt across the South and up the Atlantic coast for months.

Although hurricane Harvey packed a punch not seen since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, voters are happy with the emergency response so far

As the effects from Harvey become more apparent inside and outside of Texas and Louisiana, most Americans are following the weather news intently, and many are doing so through their local TV news stations. 

More voters than ever now think the clean-up and recovery efforts following major bad-weather events should be the federal government’s responsibility and nearly half (49%) say federal funds should not have to be offset by other federal spending cuts before that money is approved.

Calls for a united response to Harvey’s devastation came amid voter perceptions that America today is a more divided place. Trump supporters overwhelmingly agree with the president that the media is to blame, but Trump opponents just as strongly disagree.

Calls for unity notwithstanding, fifty percent (50%) say it’s better for the country when different parties control the House and Senate. Just 30% think it’s better when one party controls both houses of Congress, as is currently the case with the Republicans.

In fact, recent polling shows that most Republicans think GOP members of Congress have lost touch with their party's voters from throughout the nation.

Just 11% think the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate is doing a good or excellent job. 

Republican voters approve of President Trump’s criticism of GOP senators. Democrats don’t.

President Trump late last Friday night pardoned former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his criminal contempt conviction for ignoring a federal judge’s order to stop traffic patrols targeting illegal immigrants. Forty-six percent (46%) of Republicans expressed support for an Arpaio pardon, but just 17% of Democrats and 31% of unaffiliated voters agreed.  

The Arpaio pardon led to a rash of opposition criticism and accusations of racism, but 72% of voters continue to believe most politicians raise racial issues just to get elected, not to address real problems. 

Violent clashes between protesters, counter-protesters and police departments across the country seem to have become the new normal in mass demonstrations, giving most Americans the sense that a greater danger of political violence exists now than in the past. This week's Rasmussen Minute peeks behind the thinking of the “by any means necessary” protesters.

In other surveys last week:

-- Most Americans Adults continue to believe the quality of life for children today is worse than it was a generation ago.

-- However, most parents still think highly of their local schools but not nearly as much as they did a year ago.

-- Eighty-nine percent (89%) think young people spend too much time on their cell phones.

--Twenty-nine percent (29%) of voters now think the country is heading in the right direction, the lowest number since the week ending October 13.

--Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, perhaps best known for taking a knee during the national anthem as an anti-police protest, remains unsigned by any team as the football season gets under way. But Americans say Kaepernick's job status will have little impact on whether they tune into NFL games. 

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.

Remember, if it's in the news, it's in our polls.

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