Public Opinion on Coronavirus: Navigator Daily

Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments. 

This is a dynamic time, and as a result, Navigator will transition to a daily tracking poll on the coronavirus crisis. For the foreseeable future, we will be tracking public opinion every weekday, releasing on a Tuesday-Saturday schedule. In addition, future editions will provide more messaging guidance to the progressive community. 

This edition of our daily tracking release features findings from a national online survey of 1,022 registered voters conducted April 3-April 8, 2020 and a national online survey of 1,018 registered voters conducted April 5-April 9, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • Only a quarter of Americans say the government should continue its lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Americans remain most concerned about Trump’s early inaction.
  • Partisanship largely drives who Americans blame for the crisis.

Few Americans Think ACA Lawsuit Should Continue

Only a quarter of Americans say the government should continue its lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

  • In a November 2019 Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 71% of Republicans said they would like to see the Supreme Court overturn the Affordable Care Act. Compare that to just 49% of Republicans below who say that today, they want to see the government repeal the ACA.

Mental Health Concerns Vary By Age, Partisanship

While Americans remain more worried about the direct impact of coronavirus, like a family member getting sick (84%) or being unable to visit a sick family member (73%), a majority of Americans are worried about the mental health of a family member or friend in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Mental health concerns are particularly acute with younger people, especially women under 55 (75%).

Public Continues to Trust Fauci and Cuomo Most

Americans continue to trust Dr. Anthony Fauci, a disease expert from the National Institute of Health, and Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, to tell the truth about coronavirus.

  • Americans who are “mixed on Trump” trust Dr. Anthony Fauci (+42) and Andrew Cuomo (+20) the most to tell the truth.
  • Democrats are the most likely to have an opinion on Jared Kushner (33% not familiar enough to rate), compared to independents (58% not familiar enough to rate) and Republicans (43% not familiar enough to rate).

Unprepared and Self-Absorbed are Top Descriptors of Trump Response

After adding “self-absorbed” as an option to describe Trump’s coronavirus response, it rose near the top, with nearly six in 10 Americans saying it applies.

  • A majority of independents (54%) and nearly a third of Republicans (31%) say “self-absorbed” applies to Trump’s coronavirus response.

Early Inaction is Still Most Concerning

Items relating to Trump’s temperament, like his feuds with others and his self-absorption, are no doubt concerning to Americans, but early inaction is still the focus of their concerns.

  • This is especially true with those who hold mixed views on Trump’s performance.

Partisanship Drives who Americans Blame for Crisis

While Americans place equal blame on the virus itself, President Trump, and China, Democrats are most likely to blame President Trump, while Republicans are most likely to blame China.

  • 2016 Trump voters are especially likely to blame China for the crisis (50%), while those who are “mixed on Trump” are most likely to blame the virus itself (36%).

Warning: Trump’s “Blame China” Line Has Some Resonance

While the plurality of Americans say the U.S. federal government bears more responsibility than the Chinese government for the virus spreading throughout the country, Trump’s blaming of China has gained traction.

  • 46% of Americans who are “mixed on Trump” say that the U.S. federal government bears more responsibility, while 36% say that the Chinese government bears more responsibility.