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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending September 22, 2018

Floodwaters in the Carolinas and Virginia are cresting this weekend in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, which has already killed 42 people. But also rising are the floodwaters of the eleventh-hour Democrat opposition to the Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Voters are closely divided over whether Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault a girl when he was in high school, although many are still withholding judgment. But confidence that Kavanaugh will ultimately be confirmed by the Senate is down.

While 78% of all voters still think Kavanaugh is likely to be confirmed by the Senate, just two weeks ago, 84% shared that confidence.

Meanwhile, Democrats have widened their lead over Republicans on this week's Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot.

In Pennsylvania, Democratic incumbent Tom Wolf is sitting comfortably in his bid for reelection in that state’s gubernatorial race with a 12-point lead over Republican Scott Wagner.

Incumbent Democrat Bob Casey Jr. appears comfortably on his way to reelection in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race with a 14% lead over Republican Lou Barletta.

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As campaigning for November’s midterm elections ramps up, voters are split over the level of racial discussions on the campaign trail but think those issues only come up in the first place to get votes.

Voters also view so-called political correctness as a problem and see it as a wedge used to silence opposition. President Obama was politically correct, they say; President Trump is not.

Most voters still think they personally know the issues when they go to vote but question whether others do.

However, the weather disaster in three states has delivered a reality that is beyond question.

In light of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas and other calamities, the Trump administration may begin using a program which sends out text alerts to all Americans in the event of an emergency, though not without pushback. Voters are generally on board with the idea, but now have a slightly less favorable opinion of the agency behind the alerts.

Otherwise, voters are much more likely these days to believe that global warming is causing more extreme weather events in the United States. But they still aren’t willing to pay more in taxes to fight against it.

Forty-four percent (44%) of Americans say first responders are not obliged to rescue residents who refuse to follow a mandatory evacuation order, while 38% think first responders are still obligated to help them. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided.

In other surveys last week:

-- When it comes to political labels, moderate and conservative are best for candidates; socialist is the worst.

-- Voters in both major parties are equally enthusiastic — and determined — about casting their ballots this fall.

-- Some southern California businesses have announced plans to go cashless, but the use of cash probably isn’t going away anytime soon, even though nearly half of adults still say they’ve gone a week without it — and that number’s even higher among younger adults.

-- Up two points from the previous week, 44% of voters think the country is heading in the right direction.

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