What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending May 20, 2017
Americans appear to be buying some of the allegations against President Trump despite the lack of any hard evidence so far. Predictably, however, as with most things Trump, there’s an enormous partisan difference of opinion.
Most voters now believe the president tried to shut down the probe of any connections between his associates and the Russians but are confident the FBI will thoroughly investigate the matter despite the firing of Director James Comey.
Voters aren’t overly impressed with Comey’s performance as FBI director, but just over half disagree with Trump’s decision to fire him. Interestingly, while Democrats have consistently blamed Comey as one of the main reasons for Hillary Clinton’s defeat last November, they are now far more supportive of the job he has done than other voters are.
Former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday night that he never thought Clinton was “the correct candidate. … I don’t think she ever really figured out [why she was running].” Right after the election, voters by a 48% to 35% margin said the results were more a vote against Clinton than a vote for Trump.
Trump’s daily job approval rating remains in the mid-40s.
The same partisan divide seen on the Comey questions also impacts views of the economy. While it's fallen to a 10-year low, Americans remain closely divided over where the unemployment rate is headed from here. Republicans are far more confident that unemployment will be even lower in a year’s time, while Democrats are noticeably less cheery.
Although most Americans still say they know someone out of a job, that number has fallen to its lowest level in surveys over the past several years, as has the number who know someone who has given up on the job market.
But 10% believe their job could be done by a robot, with another 11% who are not sure.
Boy, did the so-called “polling analyst” community with the likes of Nate Silver, Harry Enten and others blow last year’s election. Nate’s silver hammer missed by a mile.
Following the polling industry’s most disastrously wrong election predictions ever last November, the annual convention of the American Association for Public Opinion Research this past week faced the Herculean task of fixing what went wrong. Commentator Robert Barnes analyzes last year’s polling mistakes – and how Rasmussen Reports and just two other major pollsters avoided them – and asks, Can The Polling Industry Learn From Its Mistakes?
Although Rasmussen Reports was criticized by the media as “an outlier” for much of the campaign season for showing the Trump-Clinton contest as a close one, we got it right. Enjoy this short video featuring some of our favorite media moments from the heated 2016 campaign and Trump's action-packed first 100 days.
In the wake of the international WannaCry cyberattack, voters believe more strongly than ever that such attacks should be seen as an act of war.
Voters are even more worried about the safety of America’s computer network, but most recognize, too, that attacks of this nature can’t be totally avoided.
In other surveys last week:
-- Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters say the country is headed in the right direction.
-- Seventy-six percent (76%) think employers and individuals should be allowed to buy health insurance plans across state lines, although it’s not now permitted by Obamacare. Congressional Republicans support the change, saying the increased competition will drive down the cost of insurance.
-- Americans view teaching as a more important profession than being a doctor but think doctoring is a much better job to go into.
-- Eighty percent (80%) see a doctor regularly, and 93% of those adults trust that doctor -- the highest level of trust measured yet.
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