Navigating Coronavirus Daily Update

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

A credible, trusted message-development voice for progressives in policy debates, providing the best words, images, elements, phrases and frames to ensure progressives win the argument.

A credible, trusted message-development voice for progressives in policy debates, providing the best words, images, elements, phrases and frames to ensure progressives win the argument.

Navigating Coronavirus Daily Update

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

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Progressives know that we have the right policy prescriptions, but not always the right framing and language for how to talk about the fights we are engaged in every day. We can win the argument if we know how to make it.

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Our Vision

Progressives know that we have the right policy prescriptions, but not always the right framing and language for how to talk about the fights we are engaged in every day. We can win the argument if we know how to make it.

Join Us.

Sign up to receive regular updates from Navigator.

Featured news

The 2020 Election Is Now About the Coronavirus. Here’s How Progressive Groups Plan to Win It.

Friday, April 3, 2020

On March 8, a group of progressive opinion researchers wrapped up three days of polling American public attitudes on the coronavirus. By March 11, the day Navigator Research released those findings, the World Health Organization officially elevated the crisis to pandemic status, the NBA canceled its season, and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announced they had COVID-19. That night, Trump gave an Oval Office address that failed to quell fears, setting off a market spiral the following morning.


Over half of Americans (55%) continue to have serious concerns that Trump has ignored or overruled the advice of medical and health care experts related to the pandemic.

NEW: 63% of Americans say President Trump and his administration did not take coronavirus seriously enough when it first began spreading.

More here:

Among Americans worried about their personal finances, 57% of women feel uneasy about their financial situation over the next few months, compared to just 45% of men who say the same.

Words that Americans use to describe Trump’s coronavirus response include:

• “Unprepared” (62%)
• “Irresponsible” (53%)
• “Erratic” (52%)

When it comes to describing Trump’s coronavirus response, the number of Americans that say “honest” applies has slipped 15 points from +1 to -14 (40% applies / 54% doesn’t apply) in two weeks. Those saying “competent” applies dropped 11 points.

Over the past two weeks, our tracking has shown an increase in those trusting Democrats in Congress more than Trump on issues related to coronavirus. By 16 points, the public trusts Democrats to improve our health care system (51%) over the president (35%).

Today’s daily tracking:

--> Trump’s overall approval rating is -10 (44% approve / 54% disapprove), a net 8-point decrease over the last two weeks.

--> Among Independents, Trump’s approval rating is -30 (29% approve / 59% disapprove).

Today’s survey also shows over half of Americans (52%) say they feel uneasy about their financial situation over the next few months. Additionally, 62% of Hispanics, 58% who work in the service sector, and 57% of women feel the same.

Americans’ top worries amidst the #COVID19 pandemic include: 

-> Someone close to them becoming infected (83%)
-> Falling into a recession (82%)
-> Not enough room in hospitals (75%)

Update: 53% of Americans, including 77% of Black Americans, believe Trump’s economic policies in response to coronavirus benefit wealthy and big corporations over working and middle class people.

New @NavigatorSurvey:

By 40-pt margin, people say Trump initially didn't take #COVID19 seriously enough

By 21-pt margin, people say his response favors wealthy/big business over middle class

80% say worst is yet to come. 59% know someone who lost job

About a third of Americans have either lost their job or had a family member lose their job. The majority of Hispanics (57%) say they have either lost their job or have had a family member lose their job, while 32% of whites without a four-year college degree say the same.

Our survey shows uneven worry among people of color when it comes to coronavirus job loss. African Americans (64%) and Hispanics (83%) are more worried than white Americans (57%) about losing their job or having a family member lose their job.

Among today’s survey takeaways: Americans remain evenly divided on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic (48%-49%). By 16 points, Independents disapprove (52%) of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus while only 36% approve.


NEW >> Today 3 in 4 Americans rate the economy as not so good/poor, including a majority of 2016 Trump voters (55%) and Republicans overall (58%).

In week two of our daily tracking on Americans’ concerns about coronavirus, these were some key takeaways:

- Public concern over Trump’s early missteps is growing
- Lack of preparedness remains the biggest concern for Americans
- Trump’s approval bump has faded

More ↓

When it comes to describing Trump’s coronavirus response, 53% of the public says the word “honest” does not apply; a 9-point growth from our initial March 23 tracking.

About 𝐬𝐢𝐱 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐞𝐧 Americans are seriously concerned by Trump’s failure to act early. Those numbers are much higher among people of color. 𝟖𝟒% of African Americans and 𝟕𝟓% of Hispanics are especially concerned with the president’s early inaction.

Update: 62% of Americans believe Trump downplayed the threat of coronavirus early on when we should have been preparing. That’s a 7-point increase since March 23.

Update: 61% of Americans describe Trump’s coronavirus response as “unprepared,” while 52% call it “chaotic” and “erratic,” and 51% say it’s “irresponsible.”

Today’s polling shows Trump’s small approval bump has faded. Trump’s overall approval is at 45% (52% disapprove), just 2-points above the average in our pre-coronavirus tracking. Other polling has NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo (+27) and WI Gov Tony Evers (+14) with higher approval gains.

Trump voters are increasingly dissatisfied with the president’s early response to COVID-19. 40% of 2016 Trump voters say he didn’t take it seriously enough—up 17 points from early last week.

NEW: Today Trump’s approval rating on handling the coronavirus pandemic is at -2 (47% approve/49% disapprove) -- that’s down from the +10 (52%-42%) since our daily tracking began.

Strong disapproval of Trump’s handling of the pandemic appears to be increasingly higher than his strong approval. Today’s survey shows 36% of Americans strongly disapprove of his response while just 28% strongly approve.

A majority of Americans, including Democrats (62%), independents (55%), and Republicans (57%), know someone who has lost their job, and nearly one-in-five of each know someone who has gotten sick.

In these extraordinary times, we’ve shifted to daily tracking polls on Americans’ sentiment (concerns, worries) related to coronavirus and how they perceive Trump’s response to this pandemic.

Read more here:

Three-quarters of Americans (77%) are more worried about their own and their family’s health and well-being than their financial situation (23%)—an 8-point increase since March 26.

Americans’ top concern is Trump’s failure to do what’s necessary in order to ensure our hospitals and health care works are adequately prepared for the pandemic (55%).

Among the words Americans picked to describe Trump’s response to #COVID19 are:

• Unprepared (61%)
• Chaotic (54%)
• Irresponsible (51%)

When it comes to Trump and his administration’s current handling of the coronavirus pandemic, half the public (50%) believe he’s not doing enough - up 9 points from last week - while 42% believe they’re getting it about right.

New>> Today, 64% of Americans believe Trump didn’t take the spread of coronavirus seriously at first -- that’s up 12 points from our initial polling last week.

More of today’s toplines:

This spin is unlikely to succeed. Per the latest, @NavigateCorona poll. The public trusts state and local officials over Trump by a margin of 54-33 and even 27 percent of Republicans trust their local officials more than Trump.

Clara Jeffery@ClaraJeffery

This entire presser's attempted spin is: We told you governors to act early on (false). Why didn't you act?

Trump’s ignoring of experts and lack of support for health care workers have raised some concerns. The public finds Trump’s lack of action in dealing with the PPE shortage concerning (63%) as well as Trump’s announcement to end social distancing practices by April 12 (64%).

UPDATE: When it comes to #COVID19 pandemic, Americans increasingly feel the worst is yet to come (79%) - this includes 76% of Independents, and 71% of Republicans.

By 21 points, more Americans trust their state and local government (54%) to handle the coronavirus crisis than they trust Trump and the federal government (33%) to do so.

68% of Americans, including 63% of Independents and 48% of Republicans, oppose Trump’s call for ending social distancing measures by Easter (April 12). In fact, 52% believe we need more aggressive social distancing measures.

When it comes to telling the truth about the #COVID19Pandemic, the public trusts leaders like Dr. Anthony Fauci (65-8%, +𝟓𝟕) and Governor Andrew Cuomo (43-26%, +𝟏𝟕), but remain wary of President Trump (54-33%, -𝟖).

Today’s update shows that 60% of Americans say that they know someone who has lost their job - that’s up 19 points from our initial survey on March 23.

Trump’s early failures and ongoing shortcomings in his coronavirus response are causing concerns for Americans including:

- downplaying the threat of the virus, instead of preparing (58%)
- hospital not equipped (55%)
- Trump’s lack of decisive action early on (57%)

Day 8 of @NavigatorSurvey tracking poll: Top concerns Americans have with Trump focus on early errors: 58% say his downplaying of the threat, instead of preparing, raises serious concerns. Other top concerns include overloaded hospitals & his blame others approach to the crisis.

Americans are increasingly worried about not being able to visit a sick family member (65%). Those 45 years-of-age and under are more concerned about this (69% worried) than those age 65 and older (55% worried).

Among those who disapprove of Trump’s overall job performance, but approve of his handling of the coronavirus (7%), there is little evidence of potential long-term support for Trump. This group voted for Clinton, identifies as Democrats, and are younger, people of color.

Today’s survey shows a gender gap within the GOP about concerns over the pandemic. Republican women (77%) are more worried about someone close to them getting infected with coronavirus than Republican men (66%).

Per our survey today:
--> 𝟓𝟓% know someone who's lost their job due to the #COVID19 pandemic.
--> 𝟔𝟔% know someone who's had their hours cut
--> 𝟕𝟐% worry about the impact the virus will have on their/their family's health.

When asked to pick which words best describe Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, more Americans said “chaotic” (56%, +5 from last week) and “erratic” (54%, +6 from last week).

New: The percentage of Americans who say they know someone infected with coronavirus (17%) has nearly doubled since we began tracking last week.

In states hit the hardest by the outbreak so far -- NY, WA, NJ, LA, and DC – 29% know someone who has been infected with the virus.

Today’s survey also finds that people of color (69% of African Americans, 68% of Hispanics) are more worried about not getting a coronavirus test if they or someone in their family needs it.

Across party lines, Americans, including 67% of Independents and 60% of Republicans, want the federal government to respond to the immediate and long-term economic problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

UPDATE: Americans are still split on Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats (19%) and Republicans’ (85%) approval remain consistent to last week’s numbers, while a majority of independents approve of his handling.

Partisanship appears to shape how Americans are feeling about the coronavirus:

When asked to choose from a list of emotions that describe how they feel about the pandemic, Democrats (56%), Independents (43%) say they are afraid while Republicans (49%) report feeling hopeful.

NEW: People of color and the working class express higher-than-average anxiety about coronavirus’ impact on their financial situations. 67% of African Americans, 79% of Hispanics, 63% of blue collar workers, and 69% of service workers worry about falling behind on paying bills.

Featured polls