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 1,007 registered voters conducted April 2-April 7, 2020 and a combined data set of Navigator Daily tracking of 1,676 registered voters conducted March 30-April 6, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • Trump’s overall approval rating has dropped over the past two weeks while Democrats hold advantages over Trump on key issues relating to the pandemic.
  • The share who describe Trump’s coronavirus response as “unprepared” has grown, while the share who call him “honest” has fallen.
  • Americans are concerned about Trump ignoring and overruling the advice of medical experts.

Trump Overall Approval Rating Hits New Low in Daily Tracking

With the exception of the economy, where Trump’s rating has dropped six points since March 23rd, his ratings on the coronavirus pandemic, health care, and his overall job rating are even or underwater.

  • Among independents, Trump’s overall net job approval rating is -30 (29% approve/59% disapprove) and his net coronavirus approval rating is -11 (38% approve/49% disapprove).

Congressional Dems Favored on Health Care and Honesty

Over the past two weeks, the share of Americans who trust Democrats in Congress more than President Trump on several key issues related to the pandemic has grown.

  • While independents once favored Trump more on honesty and responding to the outbreak by double digit margins, in the latest update, they favor Democrats on honesty (+5) and are split evenly on the outbreak.

Trump Image Slips on Key Leadership Traits

There’s been a net drop of 15 points in the share of Americans who say “honest” applies to Donald Trump’s response to coronavirus since March 23rd.

  • Just half of white non-college voters (49%) say that “honest” applies.

“Unprepared” Remains a Key Critique

Americans continue to say Trump has been “unprepared” by a clear margin.

  • Even among Republicans, 59% reject the “unprepared” label.
  • ”Erratic” and ”irresponsible” are also increasingly used to describe Trump’s coronavirus response.

Trump Ignoring Medical Experts Raises Serious Concerns

A majority of Americans have serious concerns Donald Trump is ignoring and overruling the advice of health and medical experts.

Only Fox News Republicans Think Trump Got Response Right

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans say Donald Trump and his administration did not take coronavirus seriously enough when it first began spreading.

  • Republicans who don’t watch Fox News are 15 points less likely than Republicans who watch Fox News to say that Trump “got it about right” when coronavirus first began spreading.

Divergent Views Based on News Sources

While Trump’s net coronavirus approval rating among Americans who receive most of their news from cable news networks has been stable over the past two weeks, his net approval rating has dropped 7 points among Americans whose main source of news includes websites and social media.