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Taking the public's pulse on business, politics, and culture, by KARLYN BOWMAN.
Leave Me Alone 09/16/2014 

Fox News recently updated a question about recommendations to the federal government. Thirty-two percent of registered voters in the survey said they would like to send the government a message to “lend me a hand,” while 59 percent said they would tell government to “leave me alone.” In August 2012, 53 percent said they wanted government to leave them alone; 50 percent gave that response in 2011. Thirty-five percent of registered Democrats wanted to be left alone compared to 80 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of Independents.

No Reset on Russia 09/04/2014 

Just 6 percent of registered voters in a new Fox News poll said President Obama has been too tough on Russia, while 74 percent said he has not been tough enough. Sixty-five percent of registered Democrats, 88 percent of Republicans, and 69 percent of Independents said he had not been tough enough. In another question in the poll, 27 percent said it was very likely that there would be a new Cold War with Russia, while 37 percent said it was somewhat likely. Eighteen percent said it was not very likely and 11 percent that it was not at all likely.

Airstrikes in Iraq 09/02/2014 

Support for airstrikes in Iraq in polls by ABC News/Washington Post rose from 45 percent in June to 54 percent in mid-August. In a Pew poll also taken in mid-August, an identical 54 percent of adults approved of strikes against the militants. President Obama’s approval ratings on handling the situation in Iraq showed no improvement in the ABC/Post poll. Forty-two percent in the June and August polls supported the way he is handling the situation. As for providing aid for the Kurds, 45 percent in the August poll are in favor and 49 percent opposed.

Black Views of Bias 08/28/2014 

In 1993, when the Gallup Organization asked black and white adults about whether the American justice system was biased against blacks, 68 percent of blacks said it was. When they repeated the question 20 years later in 2013, the response of blacks was identical. In 1993, a third of whites said the U.S. justice system was biased against blacks; in 2013, a quarter did.

Vacation Partners 08/27/2014 

Registered voters in a new Fox News poll split evenly about whether they would rather vacation with Michelle and Barack Obama (38 percent) or Laura and George Bush (39 percent). In another question in the poll, those sampled were much more likely to say they would rather spend time with Hillary and Bill Clinton (42 percent) than with the Obamas (23 percent).

Obama Wants the Job? 08/18/2014 

When Fox News asked registered voters whether Barack Obama wanted to be president any longer, 52 percent said he did, while 41 percent said he did not. Fifty-seven percent of Democratic registered voters said he did, but 37 percent disagreed. The responses of Republicans and Independents were similar. Forty-eight percent of each group said he still wanted the job.

Drinking Age 08/14/2014 

In a new poll from Gallup, a strong 74 percent of adults oppose a federal law lowering the drinking age to 18, while a quarter are in favor. These results are in line with what Gallup has found in the past. Those with postgraduate degrees, those who drink alcohol weekly, and self-described liberals are most likely to favor a law lowering the drinking age, while those who do not drink, are conservative, and attend church weekly are least supportive.

Obama's Sincerity 08/12/2014 

When CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation updated a battery of questions about President Obama’s characteristics and qualities, they included a question they haven’t asked since 2011. In January that year, 65 percent said the phrase “is sincere in what he says” applied to Obama, while 35 percent said it did not. In the new poll, the responses were split, 49 to 49 percent. People viewed the president negatively on sharing their values (46 percent said that phrase applied, 53 percent said it did not). A bare majority, 51 percent, said that he cares about people like them. Forty-eight percent said that phrase didn’t apply to Obama. 

The Cost of College 08/08/2014 

The Reason Foundation recently released a survey of 18- to 29-year-old millennials, providing new information to add to millennial surveys conducted by Pew and Harvard’s Institute of Politics. The survey, conducted by YouGov, explored many topics, including millennials’ views about the value of a college education. In the February-March 2014 survey, 35 percent said college was definitely a worthwhile investment, while 40 percent thought it probably was. Twenty-two percent said it was probably or definitely not. In another question, nearly eight in ten millennials said colleges could provide the same quality of education at a lower price, while 19 percent said the current tuition levels were necessary to maintain the quality of education.

Islam and Violence 08/06/2014 

Forty-three percent of adults in a new Pew Research Center survey said the statement “the Islamic religion is more likely than others to encourage violence among its believers” was closer to their view, while 44 percent identified with the statement that Islamic religion “does not encourage violence more" than other religions. When the question was first asked in 2002, the results were lopsided, with 25 percent saying Islam was more likely than other religions to encourage violence and 51 percent said it was not.