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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending October 7, 2017

The schizoid character of America these days is captured in two of our latest polls.

On the one hand, the latest Rasmussen Reports Consumer Spending Update shows that economic confidence remains high and well ahead of where it was during the Obama years.

But despite the generally held view that money talks, just 29% of voters think the country is headed in the right direction. This is down from the mid-40s just after President Trump’s inauguration and back to the kind of numbers that were routine when Barack Obama was in the White House. 

We’ll find out Monday if the horrendous event in Las Vegas drives that right direction number down even further.

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It’s perhaps a sad commentary on the times, but Americans appear to be taking the Las Vegas massacre in stride. Most aren’t planning to change their personal habits because of it.

Voters see a need for tougher gun regulation following the Las Vegas killings but remain closely divided over whether it would prevent future mass killings.

One big problem for supporters of additional gun regulation is that just 28% of Americans trust the federal government to fairly enforce gun control laws.

Speaking of the federal government, voters aren't overwhelmed with the job their own representatives to Congress are doing but are more supportive of them than they have been in years.

Trump is pushing Congress to make the biggest changes in the U.S. tax code in years, but Democrats are already declaring that only the wealthy will benefit. Most voters agree that they’re overtaxed but don’t expect a tax cut even if Congress approves the big changes in the tax code proposed by the president.

Voters are more likely to believe Republicans in Congress are the bigger problem for Trump than Democrats are. But voters are twice as likely to think Democrats rather than Republicans will stop the president's tax reform effort in Congress

Sixty-four percent (64%) of Democrats worry that the president and Congress will cut taxes too much. Fifty-four percent (54%) of Republicans are worried that they won’t cut taxes enough.

The president’s daily job approval rating was in the mid-40s at week’s end. 

Voters strongly believe politicians at all levels of government can be swayed with cash but think local elected officials can be bought for a lot less than those higher up. 

The U.S. Supreme Court returned to the bench on Monday at full-strength, but with Neil Gorsuch, Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement, on the court, voters are more likely to think the court leans too far right. For most of President Obama’s time in office, voters though the court leaned too far to the left.

Most voters continue to believe the Supreme Court should abide by the U.S. Constitution, but that number has dropped to its lowest level in nearly a decade. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republicans and 58% of unaffiliated think the high court should make decisions based on what’s written in the Constitution, but 56% of Democrats feel the court should be guided mostly by a sense of fairness and justice.

In other surveys last week:

-- With the protests continuing on both sides, the latest Rasmussen Minute explores where the National Football League is headed.

-- Americans still consider childhood obesity a big problem but also continue to say that it's none of the federal government's business. Sixty-seven percent (67%) think children are spending too much time on computers and electronic devices

-- Most Americans think at least half of the big-time college sports programs in the country break the rules on a regular basis

-- Sixty-four percent (64%) say college athletics have too much power and influence over colleges and universities

Visit the Rasmussen Reports home page for the latest current polling coverage of events in the news. The page is updated several times each day.

Remember, if it's in the news, it's in our polls.

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