What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending May 19, 2018
Americans seem to be coming around to President Trump’s point of view on a couple of key foreign policy issues.
Fifty-one percent (51%) of Likely U.S. Voters now believe the president’s upcoming meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is likely to result in the slowing or stopping of North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons. Just two months ago, 51% considered that unlikely.
On the recommendation of his national security team, Trump has backed away from his plans to reduce U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula. But far fewer voters now oppose pulling troops out of South Korea, and more support withdrawing troops from Western Europe.
Just over half of voters now agree with the president’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The U.S Embassy in Israel opened there this week.
Voters were closely divided over Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem when he announced it in December, but among those who value Israel most as a U.S. ally, the majority thought it was a good idea.
Trump recently pulled the United States out of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. The latest Rasmussen Minute explores voter attitudes toward that deal.
While a number of world leaders have complained about the Iran decision, voters here are growing more optimistic about how other heads of state view the president.
Trump ended the week with his overall job approval rating at 50% again in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.
His Presidential Approval Index Rating has been in single digits for several weeks now. By comparison, Barack Obama’s Index Rating at this time in the second year of his presidency was several points worse in the negative low to mid-teens.
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Forty-one percent (41%) of voters think the country is headed in the right direction.
Eighteen months after Election Day, many Democrats and their allies in Hollywood and the media continue to attack the president in an unprecedented fashion. But few voters think Trump-bashing will pay off for his opponents in the next election.
Democrats still have the advantage in this week’s Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot. Beginning with this week’s survey, Rasmussen Reports will update the Generic Ballot findings weekly on Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. Eastern until the midterm elections in November.
Hoping to capitalize on anti-Trump sentiment, Democrats need to take away 24 Republican seats to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. To win the Senate, they need to hold all 23 of the Democratic seats on the November ballot and pick up two GOP seats. But Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the 2016 election appears to be driving Republicans to vote this year for candidates endorsed by the president.
Most Republicans think Arizona Senator John McCain who is terminally ill should step down from the U.S. Senate. McCain, the GOP presidential nominee in 2008, has been a consistent critic of both candidate and President Trump, but Republican voters continue to identify a lot more with the president than with the senator.
Over 60% of GOP voters still believe as they have for the last several years that Republicans in Congress have lost touch with the party’s voters throughout the nation. Democrats remain a lot less critical of their congressional representatives.
Trump nominee Gina Haspel was confirmed by the Senate this week. She is the first woman to head the Central Intelligence Agency. Voter approval of the CIA is up, but support for waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques is down.
Perhaps in part that’s because voter confidence that the United States and its allies are winning the War on Terror is at its highest level since Osama bin Laden was killed nearly seven years ago.
The U.S. Supreme Court this week struck down a 26-year-old law prohibiting states from sponsoring betting on professional and college sports to raise revenue. But most Americans aren't embracing that idea just yet.
Months after the #MeToo movement initially burst onto the scene, new allegations continue to surface against public figures like New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who quickly resigned from office. But most voters still feel that sexual harassment is more a media phenomenon than a growing problem, and a sizable number think politicians accused of it will bounce back into politics.
In other surveys last week:
-- Seattle City Council has drawn national attention with its passage of an annual $275-per-person “head tax” on employees at companies earning $20 million or more a year. The money is intended for the city’s growing homelessness problem, but few Americans see more government spending as the solution.
-- Sixty-one percent (61%) think there are too many Americans dependent on the government for financial aid, and a plurality (45%) believes current government programs increase the level of poverty in America.
-- One-in-three Americans say they’re likely to watch the wedding of Great Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle.
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