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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending November 28, 2015

The Thanksgiving weekend gives us all a needed break to catch our breath from the world’s pressing events and to remind us what we are really thankful for. But Americans are also increasingly aware that some folks out there aren’t all that thankful for America.

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump says he would support government tracking of Muslims living in the United States through a federal database, a plan his fellow GOP rivals say is going too far. But one-in-three voters (32%) support government monitoring of individual Muslims, up 10 points from July 2013 just after the Boston Marathon bombing.

After all, even before the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, voters were less confident in their safety here at home than they have ever been.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Americans said they will be more watchful for possible terrorist attacks this Thanksgiving weekend than they have been in the past. Forty-one percent (41%) said their level of vigilance will remain the same.

Since it was announced that at least two of the terrorist killers in Paris used the Syrian refugee crisis as a cover for their movements, the political debate over President Obama’s plan to bring 10,000 refugees from Syria to this country next year has exploded. Most voters oppose that plan for national security reasons and don’t want Syrian refugees where they live.

Obama met this past week with French President François Hollande to discuss how to combat the radical Islamic State group (ISIS). Voters aren’t happy with Obama’s response to the recent ISIS-planned massacres in Paris, and 49% think the United States should formally declare war on ISIS as part of an international coalition.

Hollande then went to Moscow to discuss strategy with Russian President Vladimir Putin. More voters here are thinking Russia is a U.S. ally in the war against ISIS.

Active duty military and veterans tend to favor increased U.S. combat involvement against ISIS more than the public in general does. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of these Americans think the next president of the United States and Congress should increase spending on the military.

Confidence in the direction of the country has fallen back in the first full-week survey since the terror attacks in Paris.

Early in the week, the president’s daily job approval rating fell to its lowest level in a year-and-a-half.

In other surveys last week:

More Americans expected to be home this year for Thanksgiving, a holiday they still attach a lot of importance to.

— One-in-three Americans planned on braving the crowds for yesterday’s Black Friday sales because a sizable number hopes to spend less on gifts this holiday season.

Americans are already shopping at a faster pace this holiday season than they have in the past several years.

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