Public Opinion on Coronavirus: Navigator Update

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 release features findings from a national online survey of 1,204 registered voters conducted June 25-30, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • A growing share feel Trump and his administration are currently “not doing enough” to respond to the pandemic..
  • Americans have an overwhelmingly negative reaction to a video of Trump saying “slow the testing down, please” – and think he was being serious, not making a joke.
  • A majority say the economy is getting worse and that Trump’s approach to coronavirus has hurt the economy.

New High in Share Saying Trump “Not Doing Enough”

Nearly three in five Americans say Trump is “not doing enough” to respond to the pandemic, which is the highest it has been in our tracking to date.

  • Even a fifth (20%) of 2016 Trump voters say that Trump and his administration are “not doing enough” to respond to the pandemic, up 8 points since the beginning of our tracking (from 12% on March 23).

Coronavirus Dominating Public Debate on Trump: Less Testing, Holding Rallies, Refusing to Wear a Mask

The vast majority of Americans (82%) continue to hear at least some negative things about President Trump. This week even more than last week, his handling of coronavirus has been the driving issue.

Six in Ten Say Trump Should Stop Rallies

A majority feel that Trump should stop holding campaign rallies – and more than 40% say they feel this way strongly, including almost half of independents.

  • The share who believe Trump should continue holding rallies is driven in part by Republicans who watch Fox News, 72% of whom think Trump should continue his rallies, with 49% saying they feel this way strongly.

Public Deeply Unfavorable to Clip of Trump at Rally Advocating for Less Testing

With a majority already having seen the clip, nearly three in four have an unfavorable reaction, including even four in ten Republicans.

  • More than half (54%) say they had seen this clip before, and another 20% had not seen it but had heard of it.

Majorities Believe Trump Was Serious About Slowing Down Testing and Told His Administration To Do It

With nearly two-thirds saying Trump was being serious about slowing down testing, a majority of Americans say Trump definitely or probably told people in his administration to make policy changes to slow down testing.

  • By a 20-point margin, independents believe Trump told administration officials to slow down testing.

Plans to End Funding for Testing, Delayed Response Top Examples Trump Made Coronavirus Worse

A majority of Americans say each in a list of eight statements and images suggest Trump made coronavirus worse than it needed to be, especially those related to testing and American fatalities.

  • Among those mixed on Trump, statements that most suggest Trump made it worse include a study that found he could have saved tens of thousands if he acted sooner and his plans to end funding for testing.

More Say Ignoring Experts on Reopening Contributed to Current Spike Than Say Testing Failures

A plurality say that Trump ignoring experts and pushing too aggressively to reopen contributed more to the current spike in cases than his failures to put in place enough testing.

  • Among white non-college Americans, 32% say his ignoring of experts and pushing too aggressively to reopen contributed more to the current surge, as opposed to 19% who think lack of testing has contributed more.

Top Worries: Nursing Homes, Recession, New Surges

Consistent with our tracking, top concerns for Americans are nursing home vulnerability to the pandemic and a recession, with worries growing significantly since last week on items related to the new surge.

  • Worries about their state experiencing a new surge are highly partisan: while only 59% of Republicans are worried about rising cases in their state, 76% of independents and 92% of Democrats are worried.

Majority Continue to Say Economy is Getting Worse

Over the past three weeks, Americans have said the economy is getting worse rather than better by a consistent 2:1 margin.

  • On a separate question, 71% continue to rate the current state of the economy as “not so good” or “poor,” showing little improvement over the past several months.

Majority Say Trump’s Pandemic Response Has Hurt the Economy

More than half agree that Trump’s approach to the pandemic has hurt the economy rather than helped it.

  • On a separate question, about half (48%) say they or someone they know has lost a job due to the pandemic.