New polls released this week show most Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic – a marked shift as the death toll climbs in the United States.
Trump, who is running for reelection in November, initially downplayed the threat posed by the coronavirus before taking action to mitigate its spread. His approval rating initially rose, but as the virus hammered the economy and more Americans became infected, views on how he has handled the outbreak have taken a negative turn.
In a CNN poll released Wednesday, 52% disapproved of how Trump was combating the virus, up from about 48% disapproval in early March’s CNN poll. When asked about Trump’s handling of the pandemic at the beginning of March, 41% approved and 48% disapproved.
The federal government as a whole fared worse in the CNN poll, with 55% disapproving of its response and 41% approving, compared with 48% approving and 47% disapproving in CNN’s poll at the end of March.
Opinions on Trump’s handling of the crisis mostly broke down along partisan lines: 88% of Republicans approved of Trump, 14% of Democrats approved, and 45% of independents approved.
CNN’s poll was done April 3-6 with a sample size of 1,002 Americans and a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.
A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday also showed public approval of Trump’s coronavirus response slipping. Forty-six percent of respondents said Trump was doing a good job and 49% said he was doing a bad job. In March, half of respondents said he was doing a good job and 45% said he was doing a bad job. Monmouth’s poll was surveyed April 3-7 with a sample size of 857 adults and a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.
A poll from Reuters and Ipsos showed similar results. In their poll April 6-7 of 1,116 American adults, 53% disapproved and 42% approved of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, a shift from the 46% disapproval and 48% approval in their poll March 30-31. The Reuters/Ipsos poll has a credibility interval of 3 percentage points.
Views on information sources during the pandemic break down along party lines. Forty-five percent of respondents in a poll by Politico and Morning Consult said they were satisfied with the information Trump provided about the coronavirus; that percentage dropped to 16% among Democrats and soared to 79% among Republicans.
Majorities on both sides of the aisle said they were satisfied with the information from Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Seventy-six percent of all respondents said they were satisfied with the information he provided, and nearly 80% of both Democrats and Republicans said they were satisfied.
The Monmouth poll mirrored the results, with 35% of respondents and large proportions on both sides of the aisle saying Fauci was the most trusted public official on television and 20% saying Trump was the most trusted. Close to half, or 45% of Republicans, said Trump was the most trusted official, compared with 3% of Democrats.
Forty percent of the respondents in the Politico/Morning Consult survey said they thought Trump’s response to the coronavirus was “excellent” or “good,” and 54% rated the response as “just fair” or “poor.”
The Politico and Morning Consult poll was conducted April 3-5 among 1,990 registered voters and had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.