What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending November 10, 2018
Questions are already circulating about a couple of key Senate races, and Americans are expecting even more turmoil in the months ahead as Democrats return to power in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Voters strongly believe House Democrats need to focus on areas where they can work with President Trump and congressional Republicans, but as far as Democrats are concerned, impeaching the president is the priority.
Prior to Election Day, voters said the president and the economy were the most important issues to their vote. Illegal immigration and Obamacare were next in importance.
The president is pushing to end the federal policy of birthright citizenship which automatically makes any child born to an illegal immigrant a U.S. citizen. Seventy-two percent (72%) of Republicans want to end birthright citizenship; 71% of Democrats want to maintain it. Unaffiliated voters are evenly divided.
Just prior to the election, 58% of all voters said Trump is setting the national agenda, but just 25% expected that to still be true if Democrats won control of at least one chamber of Congress.
However, even most Democrats don’t want San Francisco Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi back as speaker of the House and prefer someone new in that job.
Forty-four percent (44%) of voters feel it’s likely the next Congress will seriously address the most important issues facing the country, although that includes only 11% who say it’s Very Likely. This survey was taken, though, before the election results were known.
At week’s end, 48% approved of the job the president is doing; 50% disapproved.
Trump earned a monthly job approval of 49% in October, up two points from September and tying his high for the year to date last reached in April. President Obama had 47% monthly approval in October 2010, his second year in office.
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As Election Day neared, Democrats were more eager to vote than Republicans and independents. But the long-projected blue wave didn’t quite make it to the shore.
However, the opposition party did succeed in regaining control of the House, something that happened most recently to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama two years into their presidencies. Most voters told Rasmussen Reports that Democrats were likely to take charge of the House but expected them to fall short of capturing the Senate.
Not only did they fall short, three Democratic Senate incumbents have lost their seats as of this writing. One Republican senator lost reelection in Nevada, and an open Senate seat in Arizona remains up in the air. So the GOP has strengthened its lead in the Senate, and most analysts credit the president with making the difference.
The final Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot before Election Day showed it was a neck-and-neck race. It didn’t differentiate between voting for House or Senate candidates.
Was our final generic ballot score reasonable? We believe it was, but we’ll look at all the data in the coming weeks to see if any adjustments to our national likely voters party weighting is appropriate.
More voters waited to make up their minds this year, including nearly one-out-of-three independents who delayed a decision until the final week before Election Day.
Eighty-one percent (81%) say one person’s vote still matters, although not nearly as many think U.S. elections are fair.
With unemployment at record lows, Americans remain highly confident about the job market, and most still think just about anyone can get ahead in America today. Fewer than ever now know someone who is out of work.
While Americans may not agree what income qualifies as middle class, most are pretty sure they fall into that category. Even among the country’s highest earners, only one-in-five consider themselves wealthy.
Thirty-nine percent (39%) expect their income to be higher a year from now.
In other surveys last week:
-- Forty-three percent (43%) of voters say the country is headed in the right direction.
-- Veterans Day, a federal holiday honoring those who have served in the U.S. military, is this Sunday, and many Americans rank it as one of the nation’s most significant days.
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