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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending July 4, 2015

Americans continue to rank Independence Day second only to Christmas as the nation’s most important holiday but also express increasing frustration with the government born that day.

The Declaration of Independence, the foundational document that Americans honor on the Fourth of July, says that governments derive their authority from the consent of the governed, but just 25% believe that to be true of the federal government today.

Only 20% now consider the federal government a protector of individual liberty. Sixty percent (60%) see the government as a threat to individual liberty instead.

Despite strong, longtime support for more border control, most voters continue to believe the federal government is a supporter, not an opponent, of illegal immigration.

Following the recent controversial rulings on Obamacare and gay marriage, negative views of the U.S. Supreme Court are now at their highest level in nearly nine years of regular surveying.

Voters also believe more strongly that individual states should have the right to ignore the federal courts.

Most voters have long believed that the Supreme Court justices have their own political agenda, and they still tend to feel that that agenda is more liberal than conservative.

Voters are closely divided in their opinions of the Obamacare and gay marriage rulings, but younger voters are more supportive than their elders are, especially in the case of gay marriage.

President Obama’s daily job approval appears to have improved slightly since the Supreme Court rulings, but his monthly job approval rating of -16 in June ties his worst showing this year.

The president announced this past week that the United States and Cuba are restoring relations after over 50 years of diplomatic estrangement. While that chapter of the old Cold War is coming to a close, U.S. voters worry that a new Cold War between the United States and Russia is coming.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, once considered a formidable contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, tracks in the lower tier of GOP hopefuls now that he has made his candidacy official.

Here’s a look at how all the announced presidential candidates stack up so far.

In other surveys last week:

-- Just 26% of voters think the country is heading in the right direction, tying the low for the year first reached in April.

-- The rogue Internet site WikiLeaks has released more illegally obtained classified U.S. documents, this time showing that America has spied on the last three French presidents. Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters consider the leaking of these classified documents to be an act of treason.

-- California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country, and most voters think more states will follow suit.

-- Many things Rasmussen Reports asks about are pocketbook issues for Americans, and it appears offshore oil drilling is another one of them.

-- A new FDA ruling requires the food industry to phase out partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fats, over the next three years, and voters are generally okay with that. But most of the time they don’t want the federal government telling them what to eat.

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