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 edition of our daily tracking release features findings from a national online survey of 1,010 registered voters conducted May 11-May 14, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • As Trump’s ratings hit new lows, Democrats in Congress are more trusted than Trump on handling the coronavirus response.
  • Americans are concerned that Republicans in Congress voted against CDC funding prior to the pandemic and that they continue to support cuts to health care coverage.
  • The public has serious concerns that congressional Republicans are refusing to stand up to Trump and siding with him just to keep power in Congress.

Trump’s Approval Ratings Hit Lows

Trump’s approval rating on handling the coronavirus pandemic has hit a new low, while his approval overall, on health care, and the economy are all lower than they were one month ago.

  • Earlier in the crisis, the share that said they “strongly disapprove” of Trump’s handling of coronavirus trailed the share that said they “strongly disapprove” of his overall job performance. Now, “strongly disapprove” numbers on his job as president (44%) trail “strongly disapprove” on his handling of the pandemic (47%).

Across the Board, Americans Hearing Mostly Negative Things About How Trump is Handling Pandemic

Nearly half the country says they are seeing mostly negative things about Trump’s response to the pandemic.

  • Even among Republicans who watch Fox News, only 37% say they are hearing “mostly positive” things about his handling of the pandemic.

Democrats More Trusted on Coronavirus Response

Democrats in Congress are more trusted than Trump on a variety of issues, especially improving the health care system, responding to the pandemic, and looking out for people who work for a living.

  • The share of Americans who trust Democrats in Congress more than Trump to respond to the coronavirus outbreak has increased a net 11 points since April 8 (+10, up from -1).

Amidst Pandemic, Americans Agree: Do Not Restrict Women’s Reproductive Rights

Two thirds agree that now is not the time to debate over or restrict access to women’s reproductive care.

  • Roughly half of Republicans (51%) agree that amidst this ongoing pandemic, politicians should not be trying to restrict reproductive freedoms.

Public Opposes Republican Attempts to Cut Health Care Amidst Pandemic

A majority of Americans say they are most concerned that Republicans in Congress continue to support cutting health care coverage for millions during this public health crisis.

  • Independents (52%) are most concerned that during the pandemic, Republicans voted to funnel billions of dollars to rich CEOs and corporate executives.

CDC Cuts Most Concerning Thing GOP Did Prior to Pandemic

Seven in 10 Americans are more concerned that congressional Republicans previously voted against CDC funding, and nearly half are also concerned about voting against covering costs of vaccines and opposing paid sick leave.

  • Both Democrats (77%) and independents (57%) agree CDC cuts are most concerning.

Top Concerns About Congressional Republicans: Willingness to Bankrupt States and Not Standing up to Trump

When presented with a series of criticisms of Republicans in Congress about the coronavirus pandemic, willingness to let states go bankrupt and refusing to stand up to Trump when he ignores experts rise to the top.

GOP: Party Over Country, “Yes Men,” Fear of Trump Attacks

When asked why Republicans in Congress have stood by Trump, the plurality say it’s to keep power in Congress, while four in 10 independents say they are “Yes Men” who are just doing what Trump wants.

  • Nearly one in five Republicans (18%) agree that Congressional Republicans have stood with their party over their country in order to keep their power in Congress.