Public Opinion on Coronavirus: Navigator Daily

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

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 1,003 registered voters conducted April 9-April 14, 2020 and a combined data set of 1,687 registered voters conducted April 6-13, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • Trump’s approval ratings appear to have peaked and then eroded on several key issues.
  • Americans continue to prioritize their personal health over their finances, though the public is more divided when it comes to public health and the national economy.
  • Knowing someone who has lost a job or gotten sick varies by race, education, and work industry.

Trump Approval Continues to Struggle

Trump’s approval ratings on his handling of his job as president, the coronavirus pandemic, and the issue of health care are underwater.

  • Among independents, Trump’s overall job approval is at -12 (40% approve/52% disapprove), his approval on handling coronavirus is at -16 (37% approve/53% disapprove), and his handling of health care is at -22 (31% approve/53% disapprove).

Trend to Watch: Attention to Trump Eases Somewhat

Since April 3rd, there’s been a 7-point decrease in Americans hearing “a lot” about Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Younger Americans between the ages of 18-44 (51% hearing a lot, down from 68%) and independents (38% hearing a lot, down from 56%) have been especially likely to tune out Donald Trump.

Republicans More Likely to Think “Worst is Over”

The share of Americans who think the “worst is yet to come” has been declining, though this is largely being driven by Republicans.

  • 33% of Republicans say “the worst is over,” nearly double that of independents (18%) and Democrats (12%).

Partisan Alignment on Personal Concerns; Disconnect on National Concerns

Across parties, concerns about personal health remain a priority over personal finances, though there is more of a partisan divide over worries about public health versus the national economy.

  • While Democrats are more worried about public health (67%) than the national economy (33%), Republicans are more worried about the national economy (57%) than public health (43%).

Disproportionate Job Loss By Race, Industry

While more than a third of Americans report either losing their job or having a family member lose their job, nearly half of Hispanics and Americans who most recently worked in the service industry say the same.

  • 67% of Americans also know someone who has had their hours cut due to the pandemic.

Infection Rates Vary By Race, Education, and Density

The share of Americans who knows someone who has been infected with coronavirus has increased by 13 points since March 23rd.

  • Whites with a college degree (28%) are 12 points more likely than whites without a college degree (16%) to know someone infected with coronavirus, while nearly a third of Hispanics (32%) know someone.
  • Americans in urban areas (24%) are more likely than Americans in suburban and rural areas to know someone.