Voter Sentiment on Trump’s Pandemic Response Hits New Low

41% approve of Trump’s handling of COVID-19; 53% disapprove
President Donald Trump walks off Marine One on May 30. New polling shows 53 percent of voters disapprove of the president's handling of the U.S. response to the coronavirus, a record high. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
June 01, 2020 at 1:31 pm UTC

Key Takeaways

  • 78% of Republicans approve and 16% disapprove of President Trump’s COVID-19 response, a net 62 percentage points and his worst showing since tracking began in February.

  • 31% of voters said Trump is the most to blame for the spread of coronavirus into the United States, statistically unchanged from the previous survey.

Voter sentiment about President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic reached a new nadir as reports emerged that the United States had surpassed 100,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19. 

Forty-one percent of registered voters approve of Trump’s management of the public health crisis while 53 percent disapprove, according to a May 29-June 1 poll, his worst marks since Morning Consult began tracking public opinion on the pandemic in February. The survey polled 1,989 registered voters and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

The 12-point gap, double the deficit measured in a May 21-25 poll, is the first notable movement in weeks from a metric that has been relatively stable since perceptions of Trump’s coronavirus handling slipped underwater in late April.

The change was driven by Republicans and independents, as the vast majority of Democrats were already vehemently displeased with the president’s response to the pandemic. 

The most recent poll marked the worst assessment of Trump’s performance on the issue from both his base and voters in the middle: He has a 62-point net approval rating among Republicans (78 percent approve and 16 percent disapprove) and is 18 points underwater among independents (35 percent approve and 53 percent disapprove).

While voters have soured on Trump’s handling of the pandemic since his approval's mid-March zenith, which followed his declaration of a national emergency, the poll found no movement on the question of whom voters hold most responsible for COVID-19’s domestic spread. Thirty-one percent of voters said Trump is the most to blame, while 34 percent named the Chinese government, figures that fall within the surveys’ margins of error.

A headshot photograph of Eli Yokley
Eli Yokley
U.S. Politics Analyst

Eli Yokley is Morning Consult’s U.S. politics analyst. Eli joined Morning Consult in 2016 from Roll Call, where he reported on House and Senate campaigns after five years of covering state-level politics in the Show Me State while studying at the University of Missouri in Columbia, including contributions to The New York Times, Politico and The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter @eyokley. Interested in connecting with Eli to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].

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