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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending November 13, 2010

Now that the elections are behind us, 76% of voters think it’s at least somewhat likely that the outgoing Congress will try to pass major legislation during a lame-duck session before the newly elected Members of Congress take office. While most expect them to try, just 36% believe they should. At the same time, 52% believe it’s at least somewhat likely the outgoing Congress will succeed in passing major legislation. That figure includes 21% who say it’s very likely.

Perhaps that’s the reason 49% would like to see less time between Election Day and day the new Congress is sworn in. Another factor may be that most voters expect the new Congress will enact major legislation during their first 100 days in office. Forty-six percent (46%) say it’s at least somewhat likely the new health care law will be repealed.   

When it comes to the behavior of the new Congress, feelings are decidedly mixed about Republican plans for investigating the Obama Administration. However, there is more support for investigations relating to policy issues, most voters favor an investigation concerning the potential impact of the new Health Care Law.

Looking ahead to that new Congress, Michael Barone thinks GOP Freshmen Will Hold Boehner to His Big Promises.”  That will be interesting to watch since most GOP voters remain critical of Congressional Republicans but like the Tea Party. Looking even further ahead, Larry Sabato pokes fun at those who confidently assert that “It's "OTB" Time: One-Term Barack.”  Sabato also takes a look at Election 2010 By the Numbers.

When voters look ahead, just 49% now expect partisan bickering to get worse over the coming year. That’s down nine points since August and the lowest it’s been since early in the Obama Administration. One thing’s for sure, however, Republican gains last week at the state level means the GOP is poised to reap redistricting rewards that will help them retain Congressional seats in 2012 and beyond.

The President’s Job Approval ratings have held fairly steady since Election Day and Obama gets better marks on national security than the economy.  Overall, Americans are now a bit more confident that the country is safe from terrorism. But just 23% say situation in Afghanistan will be better in six months.

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