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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending January 27, 2018

President Trump at week’s end was encouraging other world leaders to join in the new American economic boom.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of working Americans believe they will be earning more a year from now, the highest level of confidence in several years of regular surveying. Economic and consumer confidence remain at or near record highs.

Still, just 51% of voters believe the U.S. economy is fair. Only 39% think the county is headed in the right direction, although that’s an improvement over the Obama years.

Ninety-four percent (94%) agree with Trump that a strong economy is essential to U.S. national security.

The president this week imposed heavy tariffs on foreign manufacturers of washing machines and solar panels to protect U.S. businesses. Americans by a two-to-one margin think protective tariffs are a good way to go.

Supporters of international free trade have been critical of the president’s decision to impose the tariffs and argue that they will drive up the cost of consumer goods. But 73% of Americans said in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign that it is more important to keep manufacturing jobs in the United States than it is to keep prices low for U.S. consumers.

Democrats are far more worried than Republicans that last weekend’s abortive federal government shutdown will have a negative impact on the economy, but even most Democrats agree it won’t affect them personally.

The president claimed victory over congressional Democrats by defeating the shutdown effort. His job approval ratings have been in the mid-40s for most of the week.

With more startling disclosures of anti-Trump behavior at the highest levels of the FBI, voters think a special prosecutor is needed to see if the nation’s top cops have been playing politics.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Democrats believe Trump is a racist, but 73% of Republicans say his opponents are just accusing him of racism for political gain. Seventy-two percent (72%) of all voters think most politicians raise racial issues just to get elected. Only 13% think they raise these issues to address real problems.

This week's Rasmussen Minute highlights seldom seen videotape footage of Trump talking about blacks and minorities in New York City back in the 1990s as we search for proof to determine whether or not the president is a racist.

Several black members of Congress have been calling for the president’s impeachment for months and now are boycotting his upcoming State of the Union speech over his criticism of Haiti and some nations in Africa. But very few voters think this continuing confrontation is good for the black community.

The White House is urging Congress to pass an immigration reform plan that provides a pathway to citizenship for those brought here illegally when they were children in exchange for ending chain migration for extended family members and providing funds to build a border wall. Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters think it is important to secure the border before dealing with the so-called Dreamers children issue.

Forty-seven percent (47%) favor Trump’s plan for a merit-based system for legal immigration over the existing family-based system. Thirty-six percent (36%) prefer to keep the current system, while 18% are undecided.

Some legislators in California want large companies to give over at least half the savings they get from the new national tax reform bill to the state government. But most voters aren't ready to go that way in their state.

With the “Calexit” campaign going strong on the left coast, 35% of Republicans think it would be good for the country if California left the union to become a separate country, but just 13% of Democrats and 20% of those not affiliated with either major political party agree.

California has internal secession problems, too. A group calling itself New California hopes to break away from the more liberal and more affluent coastal areas of the state. Just a bare majority (51%) of Americans thinks sections of individual states don’t have the right to secede and form a new state.

As Puerto Rico continues to stumble through its recovery from Hurricane Maria, a new high of 47% of Americans think the longtime island commonwealth should be a state. But only 25% favor making Washington, D.C. a state.

In other surveys last week:

-- Politics even colors voter perceptions of the president’s health, regardless of what his doctor says.

-- A former CIA officer has been arrested for allegedly spying for China. Voters overwhelmingly consider spying a serious threat to the United States but worry a bit more about Russia than they do about China.

-- Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans are concerned that Amazon’s continuing success will force smaller Mom and Pop stores and larger box stores out of business in their area.

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.

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