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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending November 24, 2018

After a Thanksgiving pause, the season of contention continues afresh with early voting for the final U.S. senate seat in Georgia beginning Monday for the state’s December 4 runoff election. But first, later today, the college football rivalry between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines kicks it all off.  

While many still see Thanksgiving as an important holiday, it’s one Americans like to spend in the comfort of their own home, and that despite the frenzy over Black Friday deals most Americans opted out of hitting the stores yesterday.

But Americans weren’t waiting for Thanksgiving to be done to start their holiday shopping, and a growing number say they plan to open their wallets wider this year than in years past.

Following the midterm elections, voters still see political division ahead, but they're not quite as pessimistic about it as they were last year.

However, the 2018 midterm elections have prompted more discussions about voter fraud, with multiple states purging voter rolls, ongoing recounts and new voter identification laws going into effect. But while very few say they’ve been turned away from the polls, they’re more torn over whether that’s the biggest problem.

Ongoing media and political chatter about impeachment and wide-ranging investigations continues to set the stage for the opening of the split 116th Congress which begins January 3.

Voters understand the issues, but only 30% are even somewhat confident that the president and the new Democratic majority in the House can work together to do what’s best for the American people.

In fact, while voters aren’t sure Americans grasp the fundamentals of their government, they seem to have a general understanding of how impeachment works.

In other surveys last week:

-- Most voters think there are too many Americans incarcerated, but they’re less convinced that the federal government needs to loosen mandatory minimum sentencing — a proposal that's advancing in the U.S. Congress.

-- Recent accidentally released court filings indicate that the Department of Justice has filed criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and is preparing to indict, something nearly half of Americans are likely happy to hear.

-- CNN reporter Jim Acosta had his White House press credentials stripped after grilling President Trump in a contentious exchange at a press conference earlier this month, but a judge last week ordered the White House to reinstate those credentials. Voters are split on whether Acosta’s credentials should have been revoked, but they’re suspicious of the media’s motives for reporting stories the way they do.

-- Forty-one percent (41%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction.

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