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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending March 12, 2016

Despite secret plotting by some Republican leaders with the publisher of the pro-Hillary Clinton New York Times and others to stop Donald Trump, the Trump phenomenon rolls on. 

Rasmussen Reports’ latest Trump Change survey shows that belief Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee remains near record highs.

Mitt Romney, the unsuccessful Republican presidential nominee in 2012, has come out swinging against Trump and has even indicated he might accept the GOP nomination this year at a brokered national convention. But Romney’s endorsement doesn’t mean much to voters nor are they likely to vote for him in the fall.

Some in the Republican establishment are pushing the phrase “Never Trump” on social media as an expression of opposition to his success in the primaries. When asked which phrase best represents their opinion of Trump, 54% of voters say “Never Trump,” while just 23% say “Always Trump," a phrase pushed by his most ardent supporters. GOP voters, however, are evenly divided.

Next Tuesday’s primaries in Florida, Illinois and Ohio could go a long way toward determining whether the stop Trump forces can blunt his march to the GOP national convention in July.

Only 31% of Republicans think candidates who don’t win the party’s presidential nomination should be required to publicly support the person who is nominated.

Thirty-six percent (36%) of GOP voters – and 24% of all voters – say they are likely to vote for Trump if he fails to win the Republican nomination and runs as a third-party candidate. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Democrats say they are likely to support a third-party bid by Bernie Sanders if he loses their party’s nomination to Hillary Clinton.

Clinton didn’t answer during the latest Democratic debate this past week when asked if she would quit the presidential race if indicted over trafficking in classified information on a private e-mail server. Most voters still consider it likely Clinton broke the law, but they agree with her that an indictment is unlikely.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Democrats don’t think a candidate should quit campaigning even if indicted but should keep running until a court determines their guilt or innocence.

While record numbers of voters have been showing up for the GOP primaries and caucuses to date, thanks primarily to Trump, Democrats have been underperforming. But Democrats say they are more excited about a Clinton-Trump presidential matchup than Republicans are.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg now says he will not run for president this year for fear his candidacy would guarantee a Trump victory. Our polling agrees: A Bloomberg candidacy would be good for Trump and bad for Clinton.

Americans are very angry this election cycle as the surprising success of Trump and Sanders clearly demonstrates, but fortunately they're not taking that anger out on their family and friends.

President Obama at a press conference this week insisted that he’s not to blame for the anger voters feel, but it’s not clear voters agree. The president’s daily job approval ratings remain slightly better than they have been for much of the past year.

Many hoped the election of the first black president in 2008 would help heal the racial division that has plagued this country for much of its history, but nearly half (47%) of voters think Obama has driven the races further apart.

Three-out-of-four voters (73%) continue to think most politicians raise racial issues just to get elected. Only 14% believe they’re interested in solving real problems.

Americans strongly believe the public outcry by prominent officials like the president and Hillary Clinton over the water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, a majority black city, is more about politics than a solution to the problem.

Despite the continuing controversy over police shootings of black men in this country, it’s much better for a political candidate to be pro-police than anti-police as far as voters are concerned. 

Seventy-two percent (72%) of Americans have a favorable view of the police in the area where they live.  Just 13% think most deaths that involve the police are the fault of the policeman. 

A proposal has been made in New York City to allow illegal immigrants to vote for mayor and other top city officials. But voters continue to strongly oppose allowing illegal immigrants to vote at all and adamantly reject a plan like the one in New York City for their hometown.

Most voters still think their fellow Americans need to prove their identity before voting and don’t believe photo ID laws discriminate against some voters.

Twenty percent (20%) of Americans say they or someone in their immediate family has given money to political parties or candidates in the last six months.

In other surveys last week:

-- Just 29% of voters think the country is heading in the right direction.

-- Will voters punish senators who refuse to consider Obama’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court?

-- Following a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision this week to uphold an adoption by a lesbian couple in Georgia, just over half of Americans say they support same-sex couples adopting children.

-- Former First Lady Nancy Reagan was laid to rest on Friday at the Reagan Presidential Library in California alongside her husband Ronald Reagan. She is best remembered by many for her loyalty and devotion to the man Americans consider the most influential U.S. president in modern times.

-- Sir George Martin, the producer who guided the Beatles through nearly all of their recordings, died this week. Sixty-three percent (63%) of Americans say they have seen the Beatles’ American debut on CBS-TV’s The Ed Sullivan Show that aired in February 1964.

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