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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending July 21, 2018

It wasn’t exactly the plot of the old James Bond thriller, “From Russia with Love,” Monday at the Helsinki summit between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, but for the rest of the week on TV and in print, it seemed like it could have been.

In the walkup to the summit, voters weren’t optimistic about future relations with the former Cold War foe.

The United States has imposed economic sanctions on Russia for several years in an effort to change some of the latter's aggressive policies, but voters aren’t convinced that those sanctions have worked very well.

Despite the media frenzy over Trump’s comments about U.S. intelligence following his summit with Putin, voters still think U.S intelligence agencies are doing a good job. However, they don’t deny that these agencies may be serving a larger agenda.

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Trump caught flack even from members of his own party following his meeting with Putin, but most Republicans think Trump is more aggressive with Russia than his predecessors, and a majority of all voters continue to agree with Trump that Russia is an asset.

Regardless of the media’s deep unhappiness over Trump’s meeting with Putin, most Republicans think he did just fine.

While voters continued to express concerns about the Trump administration’s Russia connection, worries about illegal immigration have also climbed to near the top of their concerns.

Looking ahead, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are among those touted as serious Democratic presidential contenders in 2020, but three-out-of-four Democrats think their party needs to turn to someone new.

Democrats have narrowed their lead over Republicans again on the latest Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot.

As Congress prepares for its August recess, voters aren’t happy with the work lawmakers have been putting in.

Voters don’t think Congress cares about them and is more interested in pleasing the media. 

In other surveys last week:

-- The United States is setting the stage for a trade war with China over the Trump administration’s increased tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese imports, something nearly two-thirds of Americans are concerned about. 

-- Voters still see an overpowered government as a bigger danger to the world than an underpowered one.

-- A mayor in southern California is moving to ban neckties from workplace dress codes, citing studies that suggest the neckwear restricts blood flow to the brain. But Americans aren’t ready to say goodbye to the formalwear just yet, and few think it’s the government’s place to make that decision. 

-- Forty-two percent (42%) of voters now think the country is heading in the right direction

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