A NYT/WSJ poll released today shows that 51% of American voters do not approve of the President’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak compared to 45% who approve, closely matching his overall approval rates.
The partisan split on Trump’s handling of the virus is wide: While 81 percent of self-identified Republican voters approve of how the president is handling the situation, 84 percent of Democrats disapprove. Among independent voters, 43 percent approve, and 52 percent disapprove.
The poll was taken March 11-13 and, as with any poll, is somewhat behind events. Most surprising is the number of people who don’t think the pandemic will much affect their daily life. I would expect this opinion will crash against hard reality soon. Trump declared a national emergency on 3/13/2020, after this survey was taken.
Much of what is happening has not sunk in to the American public, at least it had not when the poll was taken. Some 34% told pollsters that they expect the economy will get better over the next 12 months, while 31% said it will get worse.
Only 15 percent of voters say they expect the virus to change their lives “in a very major way,” and an additional 26 percent say they think it will change their lives “in a fairly major way.” But 39 percent expect only “small” changes, and 17 percent say it won’t change their lives in any way.
Some 56% of Democrats and 26% of Republicans expect major disruptions.
Here is a Diary showing Democrats are taking more precautions than Republicans to avoid the virus.