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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending January 6, 2018

Charging bulls drove stock markets to record highs this week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average passing 25,000 without apparent indications of a reversal anytime soon. 

Strong economic confidence at the start of 2018 is evident with the overall Rasmussen Reports Economic Index reaching its highest level since President Trump took office and in three years of tracking. But Americans’ spending slowed following a busy holiday shopping season.

The Department of Labor’s unemployment numbers for December, released yesterday, show unemployment holding at a 17-year low and confidence in the job market has risen to a new high.

Despite the economic optimism, voters living in so-called blue states are more likely than those in red states to have had their taxes raised in recent years and less likely to see an improved economic picture where they live.

Socially, while Baltimore is facing its highest homicide rates to date, New York City's crime rate is reaching record lows this year. More Americans in the rest of the country also say crime is down where they live.

All things considered and love him or hate him, voters agree President Trump is charting the course for the country.

Trump continues rewrite the foreign affairs playbook in which policy is measured in part by U.S. economic support.

After the United Nations general assembly voted two weeks ago to condemn the United States for announcing the move of its embassy to Jerusalem, the Trump administration last week made good on its threat to decrease U.S. financial support for the organization. 

This week, the U.S. government has suspended hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Pakistan, and most voters think that’s a good idea.

President Trump continues to tweet his strong support for pro-democracy protesters in Iran and his criticism of the authoritarian regime they hope to replace, prompting an angry response from the Iranian government. But few voters think he’s gone too far.

Still, nearly half of Democrats think there’s a good chance President Trump won’t make it to the end of his first term in office, but two-out-of-three Republicans see four more years in Trump’s future.

In other surveys last week:

--  The president finished up the year with a 43% full-month job approval rating, unchanged from the previous three months.

-- Forty percent (40%) of Likely U.S. Voters now think the country is heading in the right direction.

-- While Americans don’t consider New Year’s Day all that important, more than half are feeling good about 2018, even if they aren’t as high on the upcoming year as they have been in recent years.

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