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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending February 9, 2019

Just as in 2018, President Trump’s approval rating jumped dramatically after his State of the Union address Tuesday, rebounding to 50% approval in Rasmussen Reports’ daily Presidential Tracking Poll after two full nights of post-address polling.

Yet despite Trump’s call for unity in that address, most voters don’t expect Democrats in Congress to respond, and they blame partisan politics for the gridlock.

Despite the post-government shutdown delay of the president’s address, voters were expecting a big audience, and according to Nielsen, 46.8 million viewers watched it compared with 45.6 million in 2018, not including the PBS and Hispanic language audiences.

Democratic hopefuls for a 2020 presidential bid are now using Trump’s State of the Union address as a platform from which to highlight their candidacies.

Among potential candidates, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, a centrist Democrat, appears to be contemplating a 2020 presidential run, and he stands a chance against President Trump.

But like many of the Democratic presidential wannabes, newly declared candidate Cory Booker has a name recognition problem, so voters aren’t giving him much of a chance in going all the way.

In a year in which the Democratic party swore in the most diverse, most female congressional House class in history, most voters see that trend continuing all the way to the White House.

Meanwhile, following a record-long government shutdown over an inability to reach an agreement on border wall spending, even more voters want to see Congress deal with illegal immigration. However, they’re less confident these days that President Trump and the new Democratic majority in the House can work together to achieve that goal.

Further afield in foreign policy, President Trump is pulling the United States from one of its last major nuclear arms treaties with the former Soviet Union after years of repeated violations by the Russians. Voters remain pessimistic about U.S. relations with Russia and worry that another Cold War is on the way.

Support by several prominent new Democratic members of the House has raised the profile of the effort to punish Israel economically for its treatment of the Palestinians, but few voters are ready to join in.

(More below)

In other surveys last week:

-- Most voters agree that government spending and taxes are too high, but they’re divided over the impact that raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans would have.

-- New York state has just adopted a law that will allow abortions in the final three months of a pregnancy, but even voters who consider themselves pro-choice aren’t eager to see a similar law in their state.

-- President Trump earned a monthly job approval of 44% in January, down four points from the previous two months.

-- Thirty-one percent (31%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction.

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

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