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 1,006 registered voters conducted April 8-April 13, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • Faith in Dr. Anthony Fauci remains widespread and extends well across party lines.
  • Fewer than one in four Americans now rate the economy positively.
  • Americans are most worried about an economic recession and a loved one getting infected, while concern about the overcrowding of hospitals has decreased.

The Public Looks to Dr. Fauci for Truth on Coronavirus

There continues to be high levels of trust for Dr. Anthony Fauci across parties.

  • Fauci is especially popular with those who consume cable news, where his ratings are through the roof. Independents are less likely to know Fauci, in part, because they are less likely to watch or consume news.
  • Donald Trump remains underwater on trust (45% trust/51% don’t trust). Independents are especially wary of trusting Trump to tell the truth (36% trust/52% don’t trust).

Trump Coronavirus Rating Now Underwater

Approval of Trump’s handling of the pandemic is four points underwater (46% approve/50% disapprove), his lowest rating since early March.

  • While Donald Trump’s coronavirus approval rating has typically been higher, it now mirrors his overall job approval (46% approve/52% disapprove).

Breaking Down Trump’s Approval

Even with Trump’s approval rating on coronavirus falling to 46%, that includes around one in 10 Americans who approve because they feel it is important to be supportive of Trump during this time of crisis.

Trump Still “Not Doing Enough”

Four in ten Americans say that Donald Trump and his administration are “getting it about right,” while 48% say he is “not doing enough” and 4% say he is overreacting.

  • 31% of independents say Trump is ”getting it about right,” while 44% say he is ”not doing enough.”
  • The majority of Americans (61%) also say that Trump “did not take it seriously” when coronavirus first began spreading.

Fewer Than One in Four Rate Economy Positively

Just 24% of Americans now rate the economy as “excellent” or “good.”

  • While only 12% of Democrats and 13% of independents rate the economy as “excellent” or “good,” 40% of Republicans still rate the economy as “excellent” or “good.”
  • 28% of Americans give the economy the lowest rating of “poor,” an all-time high in our tracking.

Americans Remain “Afraid” and “Sad”

While “afraid” is still the top emotion that Americans use to describe how they are feeling, there has been a 6 point decrease in “afraid” over the past week, while ”hopeful” has increased 10 points since March 23rd.

  • More than half of Democrats (53%) report feeling “afraid,” while 40% of independents and 33% of Republicans say the same. On the other hand, nearly half of Republicans (49%) say they feel “hopeful.”

Top Worries Remain Infected Loved Ones & Recession

Americans remain most concerned about the economy falling into a recession and someone close to them getting infected.

  • While 65% of Americans say they are worried about there not being room in hospitals if they get coronavirus, this is 11 points less than on April 3rd.