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82% of Americans fear nuclear war with North Korea

Most Americans are both paying attention to the news surrounding the nuclear threat from North Korea and worried about the potential for war, according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm, given exclusively to Axios.

Data: Public Policy Polling, August 9-10, 2017; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The poll was commissioned by Vote Vets, a progressive PAC focused on issues affecting veterans and troops.

Some highlights from the poll:

  • 91% of Americans have paid at least some attention to the North Korea news with 63% giving a lot of attention to the issue. Those numbers were pretty constant among both parties.
  • 54% of both Democrats and Republicans felt that war between the United States and North Korea is somewhat close — while 26% of Democrats and 23% of Republicans think it's very close.
  • Diplomacy favored: Sizable majorities in both parties (82% of Democrats, 68% of Republicans) favor exhausting all diplomatic options in order to avoid war, and even bigger majorities (90% of Democrats, 80% of Republicans) support direct talks with North Korea before military action.
  • An area of disagreement: While a plurality of Americans oppose a preemptive military strike to disable North Korea's nuclear capabilities, the parties themselves disagree — a majority of Republicans would support it while a majority of Democrats would be opposed.
Jonathan Swan 3 hours ago
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Trump's trade plan that would blow up the WTO

President Trump announces tariffs on steel and aluminum earlier this month, flanked by Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Robert Lighthizer, and Peter Navarro. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

For months, President Donald Trump has been badgering his economic advisors to give him broad, unilateral authority to raise tariffs — a move that would all but break the World Trade Organization.

His favorite word: “reciprocal.” He’s always complaining to staff about the fact that the U.S. has much lower tariffs on some foreign goods than other countries have on the same American-made goods. The key example is cars: The European Union has a 10 percent tariff on all cars, including those manufactured in America, and China hits all foreign-made cars with 25 percent tariffs. But the U.S. only charges 2.5 percent for foreign cars we import.

Jonathan Swan 3 hours ago
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Congress considers a monster spending bill

Sens. Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell walk to the Senate chamber last month. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The House and Senate need to pass their massive 2018 spending bill before the government shuts down on Friday. Senior sources from both parties on Capitol Hill tell me they expect they'll get the deal done — though there's plenty of last minute haggling.

The big picture: This spending bill will cost more than $1 trillion and will further add to the deficit, which is likely to reach at least $800 billion for the 2018 fiscal year.  Republican leaders and Trump will sell the spending package as a much-needed boost to military spending. House defense hawks, led by House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry, campaigned aggressively for this boost. And Democrats will rightly be thrilled that they've forced Republicans to capitulate to fund so many of their domestic priorities.