How do Americans rate President Donald Trump’s job so far in addressing the spread of coronavirus? One poll seems to imply that a shift is happening, toward more approving his response than disapproving.
The poll, conducted jointly by ABC News and Ipsos, found that 54 percent approve of Trump’s job handling the disease, while 43 percent disapprove.
The numbers shocked a few political insiders on social media on Friday, as Trump’s response to COVID-19’s spread has been lackluster. For several weeks, the president refused to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation — and when others called him out for his refusal to do so, he called their criticisms a “hoax.”
JUST IN: 55% of Americans approve of Pres. Trump's management of the coronavirus crisis, compared to 43% who disapprove, according to new @ABC News/Ipsos poll. https://t.co/oNg6ZipDN2 pic.twitter.com/yVcGO0CpbD
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 20, 2020
Trump even claimed in late February that the virus would disappear within the United States’ borders within a matter of days.
Vox journalist Aaron Rupar was among those who were mystified by the poll’s findings. “Nothing matters,” he wrote in a tweet detailing the numbers.
He followed that tweet up by observing that the ABC News poll was, perhaps, a misnomer of how Americans truly felt.
“The ABC poll is a bit of an outlier,” Rupar noted, pointing out an Economist/YouGov poll from this week that showed a more even split among the American public.
The ABC poll is a bit of an outlier, but YouGov yesterday found public opinion of Trump’s handling of coronavirus to be basically split, which also is an argument for nothing mattering. The guy fired the pandemic team & can’t figure out how to test people! https://t.co/JX1XnMenYf
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 20, 2020
That poll found approval of Trump’s handling of coronavirus at 45 percent, with disapproval at 46 percent.
Other polls are more pessimistic about Trump’s job performance related to the virus. A Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 44 percent of Americans rated Trump’s work on the disease to be “excellent” or “good”; about 12 percent said his handling of the issue was “just fair”; and 39 percent described it as “poor.”
In other words, a majority of respondents in that poll (51 percent) felt Trump’s job performance in handling coronavirus was less than “good.”
Trump, for his own part, has rated himself as flawless. Asked by reporters to give himself a rating on a 1-to-10 scale, Trump responded, “I’d rate it a 10.”
Chris Walker is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who focuses on news, politics, and analysis of world events. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, since 2005 Chris has reported on workers’ rights protests in Wisconsin, opined on four separate presidential elections and written on a number of other political subjects for a variety of national online publications.