What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending on January 13, 2018
Democrats seem to live outrage to outrage in the Trump era, but even they admit it hasn’t been a very effective political strategy.
Only 10% of Democrats believe efforts by national Democrats to oppose the president have been a success so far. They aren't overly confident that their legislators in Congress will be able to stop Trump's agenda in the future either.
At the same time, voters across the political spectrum continue to believe that the Republican president has only just begun to undo the achievements of his predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama.
Desperate for someone with firepower to challenge Trump in 2020, Democrats and their media allies have now seized on TV personality Oprah Winfrey following her impassioned speech against sexual harassment at last weekend’s Golden Globes ceremony. Oprah edges the president in a hypothetical election matchup.
Generally speaking, however, just 12% of Americans think most Hollywood celebrities are good role models.
Voters are closely divided, though, when asked if any of the major power players in Washington, D.C. - the president, the Republican Party or the Democratic Party - have a plan for where they want to take the country.
Meanwhile, with the unemployment rate falling and the economy booming, Trump ends the week with a 46% job approval rating, comparable to where Obama was at this stage of his presidency. [Gallup has announced that it is ending its daily presidential tracking poll which means Rasmussen Reports is now the only survey firm still tracking presidential job approval on a daily basis.]
Highlighting the usual disconnect between those inside the Beltway and those out in the real America, Washington is buzzing about the new anti-Trump book, Fire and Fury, but just 16% of voters say they are Very Likely to read it. Only 36% think it’s an accurate portrayal of the Trump White House.
Voters last fall were evenly divided over whether Trump was a bigger danger to the United States than North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, whom the U.S. president had just nicknamed “Rocket Man” in a speech to the United Nations. Prior to that speech, Kim had been ratcheting up his threats to launch a nuclear-armed missile at the United States for months, but the recent peaceful overtures by North Korea suggest that Trump has backed him down.
With the president and North Korean leader talking more diplomatically and North Korea sending athletes to the Winter Olympics in neighboring South Korea, fears of a nuclear attack from the rogue regime in Pyongyang are lessening here.
It doesn’t hurt either that Trump announced in December that the United States would be deploying a layered missile defense system to defend the country against missile attacks. Voters strongly support the idea of an enhanced missile defense system since they don't have much confidence in the ability of what we've developed so far.
Trump’s support for the latest wave of pro-democratic protesters in Iran is the subject of this week’s Rasmussen Minute.
Most voters agree with the president’s decision to suspend U.S. aid to Pakistan until it does more to fight terrorism. But then most also agree with Trump that U.S. foreign aid to other countries isn't a good deal for America.
In other surveys last week:
— Thirty-eight percent (38%) of voters say the country is headed in the right direction.
— Despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ intention to get tough on states that have legalized marijuana, most voters want to keep marijuana regulated at the state level. Voters strongly believe the federal war on drugs isn’t working, but they also don’t think we’re spending enough on it.
— California is the most recent state to make recreational marijuana legal. Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters now favor the legalization of recreational marijuana use in their state, the highest level of support in several years of regular surveying.
— While online shopping may be all the rage, it seems to be catching on more slowly when it comes to food.
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.
Remember, if it's in the news, it's in our polls.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.