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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending February 17, 2018

The week began with the stock markets recovering from the previous week’s losses and Congress agreeing on a two-year budget deal to end a series of government shutdowns. But the Senate’s failure to advance immigration reform and the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida closed the week somberly.

Senator Rand Paul stood as the lone dissenting voice late last week as Senate leaders rammed through a bipartisan budget deal that dramatically increases military and domestic spending. The Kentucky Republican bemoaned the lack of conservatives in power right now, and a lot of voters agree with him.

The government did shut down for five-and-a-half hours Friday night as Congress completed its budget work, but voters say they would rather see a shutdown until Congress can cut spending.

After Congress passed that bipartisan budget with billions of dollars in new defense and domestic spending, the president on Monday proposed a $4.4 trillion Fiscal Year 2019 budget that would spend even more, projecting deficits long into the future.

Though Congress and the president continue to introduce bills with increasingly more spending, most voters — including those who want a more hands-on government — don’t trust that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely.

Most voters think a balanced budget is a better way to go economically, but they don’t foresee that happening anytime soon.

For Democrats, the possible Trump-Russia connection remains the burning issue of the day. For the rest of voters, pocketbook issues and illegal immigration are priorities.

President Trump has proposed supplementing at least half of a food stamp recipient's monthly benefit from a monetary payment to a box of healthy, homegrown food. Nearly half of Americans believe it’s too easy to get food stamps and are open to this new plan.

Meanwhile, the economy continues to surge, and over a year after he left office, many voters - including most Democrats - remain convinced that President Obama is responsible for it.

A rise in U.S. shale production over the last several years has created a surplus of oil that is now in high demand from countries overseas. Though support for fracking has dropped slightly, nearly half still favor the idea, but most say if we’re going to do it, we should keep the surplus oil here at home.

This week’s Rasmussen Minute names the names in the case of the now infamous, salacious and unverified Trump "Dirty Dossier" — paid for by Clinton's campaign and the DNC, compiled by a former British spy with information sourced through Russia, then used by senior U.S. officials to obtain a warrant to spy on President Trump.

In other surveys last week:

-- President Trump has proposed holding a massive parade in Washington, D.C. to showcase America’s military strength, but most voters don’t want it.

-- More than one-in-ten Americans say they know someone who has won a major lottery, but with at least one winner fighting to keep her winnings anonymous, perhaps Americans know more lottery winners than they realize. But nearly half say they wouldn’t quit their jobs if they won.

-- The #MeToo movement is sweeping the nation, but a sizable number of Americans think it has gone too far.

-- Americans don’t place a lot of importance on Valentine’s Day, and while some look forward to it, for most, it’s just another day.

-- Forty-three percent (43%) of Likely U.S. Voters now think the country is heading in the right direction.

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