What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending November 3, 2018
Election Day’s almost here, and most pollsters are predicting a blue wave that will sweep the Democrats back into control of the House of Representatives. But is another picture possible?
Democrats hold just a three-point lead on the latest Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot which has a +/- 2 margin of error. Look for our final Generic Ballot Monday morning.
Just as in 2016, Democrats are more outspoken about how they’re going to vote in the upcoming elections than Republicans and unaffiliated voters are. Is it possible that another silent red wave is coming?
In August 2016, 52% of Democrats were more likely to let others know how they intended to vote in the upcoming presidential election, compared to 46% of Republicans and 34% of unaffiliated voters. Some analysts after Donald Trump's upset victory suggested that most pollsters missed his hidden support among voters fearful of criticism who were unwilling to say where they stood.
The majority of voters believe the media is more interested in creating controversies about candidates than in reporting where they stand on the issues. Voters also think the media is trying to help Democrats in the upcoming elections which helps explain why Democratic voters are much bigger fans of election news coverage than others are.
Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Republicans say they always vote in midterm elections, as do 71% of Democrats and 63% of voters not affiliated with either major political party. The real story on Tuesday will be which side turns out even more than usual.
Most voters in general think Democrats are likely to take charge of the House following the elections but expect them to fall short of capturing the Senate.
Voters also are slightly more likely to think a Congress at least partially controlled by Democrats is better for the country.
At week’s end, Trump’s job approval stands at 51% in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.
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Most voters now commend the president for his economic leadership but are less impressed by his performance when it comes to foreign affairs. That’s also potentially good news for Republicans facing an election in which voters say Trump and the economy are the big issues.
Meanwhile, economic and consumer confidence continue to climb further into record territory.
But one word of caution: 70% of Democrats are concerned that the stock market will crash and throw the country back into recession, a view shared by 43% of Republicans and 49% of those not affiliated with either major political party.
Forty-eight percent (48%) of all voters also give the president good or excellent marks for his handling of immigration issues, compared to just 34% who felt that way about President Obama's performance in this area in his last year in office. Voters agree with Trump’s efforts to stop the horde of Hondurans now marching through Mexico from entering the United States illegally.
Voters also tend to favor the president's decision to send troops to the southern border to help prevent illegal immigration, but as is frequently the case on issues related to illegal immigration, there's a sharp difference of opinion between Democrats and Republicans.
Illegal immigration is the most important voting issue in the upcoming elections for 22% of Republicans, 15% of unaffiliated voters and eight percent (8%) of Democrats.
Following last weekend's massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Americans continue to worry that media overcoverage of horrific events like this inspires copycats.
Democrats (51%) are much more likely than Republicans (13%) and those not affiliated with either major party (25%) to blame the availability of guns for mass shootings more than the person who pulls the trigger.
Sixty-one percent (61%) of Americans favor the death penalty, and among these adults, 68% think it needs to be carried out in a more timely fashion rather than delayed for all possible legal appeals.
In other surveys last week:
-- Forty-three percent (43%) of all voters say the country is headed in the right direction. This finding was in the mid- to upper 20s most weeks during Obama’s last year in the White House.
-- Fifty-six percent (56%) of Americans say Halloween is a holiday for both adults and children.
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