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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending December 22, 2018

Four days before Christmas, Congress entered a partial government shutdown over the showdown for border wall funding, while procrastinators scrambled to do last minute holiday shopping.

Also in the news this week, President Trump announced his decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria and the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, both of which House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi emphatically criticized. But while Pelosi is poised to become the most powerful Democrat in Washington, D.C., voters prefer that Trump lead the way.

That there is more turnover at the highest levels of the Trump administration, doesn’t surprise voters: They continue to believe Trump is less dependent on his Cabinet than his White House predecessors.

After Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declared border wall funding by Congress a dead issue, Brian Kolfage — a U.S. Air Force veteran, Purple Heart recipient and triple amputee — started a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $1 billion for wall construction, an effort that by midday Friday had raised more than $12 million.

That might be of little surprise given that one-in-five voters say they are willing to dig into their own pockets to privately fund the barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border. The Senate yesterday was reconsidering the issue after the House late Thursday passed a stop-gap spending bill that included $5.7 billion for border wall funding.)

Meanwhile, our enemies never sleep.

Hackers working on behalf of the Chinese government are suspected in a recent cyberattack on the Marriott hotel chain in which the personal information of millions of hotel guests was compromised. Nearly two-out-of-three voters think a cyberattack by another country is an act of war, and most think it poses a greater risk than a traditional military attack.

But the holiday season is upon us, and most Americans still consider their faith an important part of their lives, even if they don’t attend services regularly.

Americans don’t plan to be a Scrooge this Christmas, either, and are instead planning to donate to charity in the name of holiday spirit, with 80% of Americans saying they are at least somewhat likely to make a charitable donation of some kind this year, a slight decline in numbers from 2014.

Many folks will be scrambling over the weekend, because just a week before Christmas, one-in-five Americans had not yet started their holiday shopping

This holiday season is one of the busiest times on the roads, but most Americans are staying put this year

Though some consider the tradition of sending Christmas cards a relic of the past, nearly half still plan on mailing them out this year.

In other surveys last week:

-- A federal judge declared Obamacare’s requirement that every American have health insurance unconstitutional. Most voters continue to oppose the so-called individual mandate as they have for years.

-- The Oxford English Dictionary named “toxic” as their word of the year for 2018, and while Americans are torn on whether the word should have received the honor, they agree that politicians and the media have contributed to a toxic culture.

-- But as dictionary publishers around the globe are broadcasting their picks for this year’s “word of the year,” are dictionaries even still relevant today?

-- Forty-one percent (41%) of voters think the country is heading in the right direction. 

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