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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending January 20, 2018

At the end of a week in which stock markets continued their record roar and Senate Democrats growled the necessity of tying a government funding deal to support for DACA, Democrats, joined by four Republicans, voted late last night against stopgap funding to keep government open. Their vote, contradicting a funding measure the House approved Thursday night and shuttering the federal government, comes on the first anniversary of President Trump’s first term in office.

However, most voters have said a shutdown would be bad for the economy, even if the vast majority admit that past shutdowns have had little, if any, impact on them personally.  

In fact, American workers are more confident than ever that they will get a salary boost in the near future, and most continue to believe the best opportunity for career advancement is to stay put.

Ten states so far are planning to impose work requirements on able-bodied Medicaid recipients, and most Americans think that’s a good idea.

But with some states planning ways to tighten their Medicaid and food stamp rolls, Americans still believe that too many count on the government for cash and that government welfare programs hurt more than they help.

While illegal immigration continues to be a contentious issue in Congress, fewer Americans now feel threatened that illegal immigrants are taking their jobs.

But more voters now believe most immigrants work hard to pursue the American Dream, and they have a favorable opinion of those who are working toward that dream.

Lost in the furor over whether President Trump used off-color language in a private discussion of legal immigration is the issue he was addressing: Why isn’t the United States admitting higher skilled, better-educated immigrants? Maybe it’s because voters themselves are conflicted.

Still, voters tend to believe prominent Democrats who accuse Trump of being a racist for championing the bringing of higher educated, more skilled immigrants to America. Overwhelming majorities of voters who Strongly Approve or Strongly Disapprove of the president hold opposing views on the issue.

Under that accusation, and having replaced America’s first black president, more voters think the government is not doing enough to improve conditions for America’s black youth, though they think they are ultimately responsible for improving their own situation.

This Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Americans had a marginally more promising outlook on race relations than they did six months ago

But more Americans than ever believe King’s dreams of equal opportunity in the country still aren’t a reality

In other surveys last week:

--  The Trump administration has announced that it will allow oil and gas drilling in most U.S. coastal waters, although Florida quickly obtained an exemption and other states are expected to follow. However, voter support for offshore drilling has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 10 years of regular surveying.

-- More Americans now say they have tattoos, but few regret them. 

-- Wacky tobaccy, cronic, dope...whatever you call it, an ever-growing wave of support for legalizing the recreational use of marijuana has been permeating throughout the United States of America recently. Is America about to go up in smoke? Or are we just tripping? Take a deep breath and check out this week's Rasmussen Minute. 

-- Forty percent (40%) of voters now think the country is heading in the right direction. That compares to 30% two years ago at this time in Barack Obama’s final year as president.

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