Reason Roundup

Polls Show Americans Are Souring on Trump's Response to COVID-19

Plus: 6.6 million more unemployment claims, how NYC authorities failed at early outbreak response, and more...


Transpartisan disenchantment with Trump's coronavirus shtick. A majority of Americans now disapprove of the way President Donald Trump has been dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, according to new polling. Not only that, but Trump 2016 voters are starting to turn against the president, too.

A CNN poll that came out Wednesday found overall disapproval for Trump's pandemic performance stands at 52 percent, up from 48 percent in early March, and 55 percent of Americans polled said Trump "could be doing more to fight the outbreak."

But the number of people who approve of Trump's overall handling of COVID-19 also increased, from 41 to 45 percent. (This was made possible by the number of poll respondents with no opinion on this question shrinking from 11 to 3 percent).

And Americans increasingly think the federal government overall is handling the crisis poorly. In the CNN poll, the percentage of respondents who said it's doing a poor job jumped from 43 percent in early March, to 47 percent in late March, to 55 percent last week.

Most of those polled were still bracing for the worst:

  • 80 percent of CNN poll respondents said it's still yet to come, with only 17 percent saying the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak is behind us.
  • 60 percent said that if the federal government lifts social distancing guidelines after April 30 they would still not feel comfortable returning to their regular routine.

There's also evidence that more of the president's supporters are losing faith that Trump has had things under control. Navigator, which has been conducting every-weekday polling on COVID-19, finds that people who voted for Trump in 2016 have become increasingly less sure about how he's handled the outbreak:

In Navigator polling data from March 31-April 3, 2020, some 40 percent of respondents who voted for Trump in 2016 said the president didn't take COVID-19 seriously enough in its early days; this was up from 23 percent the week prior. Sixty-six percent of independents said the same, up 10 points. Meanwhile, the number of Trump 2016 voters who say he got the response "about right" decreased from 60 percent to 53 percent.

In the latest data, from a national online survey of 1,022 registered voters (conducted April 3-8), 85 percent of Republicans and 13 percent of Democrats either somewhat or strongly approved of Trump's handling of COVID-19, while 13 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of Democrats disapproved.


Joe Biden it is, folks. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) officially dropped out of the Democratic presidential race on Wednesday.


  • The New York Times looks at how New York City leaders botched their early local response to COVID-19. The paper also reports that "the coronavirus began to circulate in the New York area by mid-February, weeks before the first confirmed case, and that travelers brought in the virus mainly from Europe, not Asia," according to new genome research from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
  • "While we practice social distancing to maintain public health and flatten the curve, people must be allowed to safely end pregnancies at home without the fear of arrest," said Jill Adams, executive director of If/When/How.
  • Singapore's containment of COVID-19 might be slipping: