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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending August 25, 2018

Democrats are hoping they don’t have to wait until 2020 to erase Hillary Clinton’s 2016 debacle, but voters in general aren’t that impatient.

By a 50% to 44% margin, voters say this week’s highly publicized conviction of Paul Manafort and guilty pleas by Michael Cohen are not likely to lead to criminal charges against President Trump. Democrats think charges are coming; Republicans and independent voters disagree.

Democrats also hope that if they take over the Congress after the midterm elections, the Manafort and Cohen cases will provide them with the ammunition to impeach the president. In early May, voters strongly believed impeachment was not the best strategy for Democrats running for Congress. We’ll update those findings early next week.

Meanwhile, the Generic Congressional Ballot has Democrats and Republicans tied for this first time since May. Democrats had been leading for the last three months.

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The president’s daily job approval ratings haven’t been noticeably impacted by the Manafort and Cohen cases and continue to run about the same or better than Barack Obama’s at this same stage of his presidency. 

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Former Vice President Joe Biden remains the clear favorite among Democrats to be their presidential nominee in 2020. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who challenged Hillary Clinton for the party’s nomination in 2016, is a fading second.

Voters agree with Trump that America should come first on the world stage but don't think the Democratic party's next presidential nominee is likely to agree.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, another hopeful for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, said recently, “We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great.” One-in-five Democrats agree, but a sizable majority of all voters thinks he’s off-base.

Voters, in fact, are even more confident these days that the United States will remain the world’s most powerful nation at the end of the 21st century.

Forty-three percent (43%) say the country is headed in the right direction. That compares to the mid- to upper 20s for most weeks during 2016, Obama’s last full year in office.

Consumer and economic confidence remain at or near record highs.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of Americans now rate their lives as good or excellent.

Just 10%, however, think the country’s opioid drug crisis has gotten better over the past year, while 40% think it’s gotten worse.

Only 50% of Americans know what the national minimum wage is, but 75% think it should be higher whatever it is.

Fewer voters now say they’re following the news, but then just 35% consider the news they get Very Reliable.

Voters think the police do a good job dealing with violent protesters but think the media sides more with the protesters than with the cops.

In other surveys last week:

-- Nearly one-in-four regular watchers of the National Football League say the threat of continuing on-the-field protests may make them turn off pro football this year.

-- In January, 37% of Americans said they did ultimately watch fewer NFL games last season because of the on-field player protests.

-- Soul diva Aretha Franklin died last week at the age of 76, and most Americans have R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for her work.

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