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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending December 2, 2017

The big names in media and government accused of sexual abuse and assault continued this week to fall like dominoes. NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer and Minnesota Public Radio star Garrison Keillor were both fired on Wednesday.

Michigan Representative John Conyers on Sunday resigned from his position as the House Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat and left Washington, but he and Minnesota Senator Al Franken are resisting calls from both parties to resign from Congress even as the number of calls — and accusers —increases.

Franken, who faces accusations of unwanted groping and kissing, is the subject of this week's Rasmussen Minute.

Though eyebrows are raised, voters say sexual harassment isn't happening more; we’re just talking about it more. 

Voters also now have only a slightly less favorable opinion of Bill Clinton, but most believe the women who have accused the former president of sexually abusing them

In other news, a San Francisco jury on Thursday acquitted Kate Steinle’s killer.

Steinle’s killing inspired “Kate’s Law,” a measure stalled in the Senate that would impose stiff penalties on illegal immigrants deported from the United States who attempt another illegal reentry. San Francisco, a self-declared “sanctuary city,” opposes deportation of illegal immigrants, but while voters don’t believe sanctuary communities are safe, they’re less enthusiastic about taking legal action against them.

It may be no surprise then that the Republican-led Congress earns its lowest job approval marks this year, perhaps in part because of its failure to pass any major legislation. Most voters are steadfast in their opinion that the more important job for Congress is passing good laws rather than stopping bad ones.

Senate Republicans early this morning passed their tax reform bill which includes repeal of the individual health care mandate implemented under the Obama administration. The bill now goes to conference committee for reconciliation with the House measure.  A majority of voters continue to oppose the requirement that all Americans buy or obtain health insurance, opting for more free market competition between insurance companies instead of more government intervention.  

Voters are not too optimistic about President Trump’s relationship with most world leaders, and half think those world leaders see him as weaker than his predecessor, a view that varies sharply along partisan lines.

But voters agree with Trump that so-called “fake news” is a serious problem in America today. If a Fake News Trophy were to be awarded this year, the winners should be Fox News or CNN depending on which political party you’re in.

Holiday shopping is now in high gear with fewer Americans concerned that having credit cards tempts people to spend more than they can afford. That doesn’t mean they don’t see the need to cut back on spending, though. 

But are Americans returning to the ways of good old hard cash? While plastic is still the choice for their main spending, they’re less likely to go cash-free for a week than in past years.

With a record number of Americans starting their shopping before Black Friday this year, consumers are still shopping at a record rate following the biggest shopping day of the year.

In other surveys last week:

-- The president earned a monthly job approval of 43% in November, showing no change from the previous two months.

-- Most voters recognize that a U.S. citizen must be 35 years old to be elected president but also think there should be a ceiling on how old a candidate for the White House can be. The age limit they prefer would cut off most of the prominent contenders for the job in 2020.

--  Budweiser recently announced plans to send barley seeds, one of the key ingredients in beer, to space to determine if it’s possible to make and drink beer on Mars. But Americans aren’t particularly anxious for a taste of Martian brew.

-- Thirty-four percent (34%) now think the country is heading in the right direction

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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