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 1,007 registered voters conducted May 28-June 1, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • Most Americans have favorable views of the CDC, Dr. Fauci, and the World Health Organization (WHO), and a majority opposes defunding and withdrawing from the WHO.
  • A majority view Obamacare favorably, and Democrats are more trusted than Trump to protect healthcare coverage for those with preexisting conditions.
  • Helping those in need and putting regular people before the wealthy are the most appealing parts of the Democrats’ approach to the economic impacts of the pandemic.

Trump Approval on Economy Hits New Low

Approval of Trump’s economic handling is now underwater by a net 5 points, the lowest rating in our tracking.

  • The percentage of Americans that “strongly disapprove” of Trump’s economic handling has risen 11 points (from 29% to 40%) since March 23.
  • Among independents, only 32% approve of his handling of the economy.

CDC, Fauci, WHO Retain High Levels of Favorability

Nearly three in four Americans have a favorable opinion of the CDC, as do nearly two in three of Dr. Fauci. Despite Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the WHO, a majority have a favorable impression of the WHO.

  • Republicans who watch Fox News are driving lower levels of favorability toward the World Health Organization, with a net favorability of -38 (27% favorable/65% unfavorable).

Majority Oppose Defunding and Withdrawing from the WHO

More than half oppose Trump’s decision to withdraw from and discontinue funding for the World Health Organization.

  • Among those with mixed views on Trump*, 52% oppose his attempts to withdraw from and defund the WHO.

Public Favorable Towards “Obamacare“

The majority of Americans have favorable views of Obamacare, including a plurality of independents.

  • The “Affordable Care Act” (57% last week) remains a more favorable phrase than “Obamacare” (51% this week), but this is mostly driven by Republicans.
  • This comes as the majority of Americans (57%) say that Trump’s attempts to cut health care and repeal the Affordable Care Act, instead of expanding coverage, have made the impacts of the pandemic worse.

Democrats More Trusted On Issues Relating to Pandemic

Democrats in Congress hold an advantage over Trump on trust to protect and improve health care, respond to the coronavirus pandemic, and make decisions about when and how to reopen the country.

Democrats Hold Lead on “Safely” Reopening the Country

While Democrats hold a narrow lead over Trump on trust to decide “how and when” to reopen the country, that lead widens by 9 points when adding the word “safely” to the message.

Appeal of Democratic Approach to Reopening Centers on Safety, Experts, Helping Those in Need

When asked which aspects of different plans by Democrats to reopen the country are most appealing, following the advice of health experts to safely reopen, ensuring those in need get help, and providing health care access rise to the top.

Core Appeal of Democratic Economic Approach: Relief For Those Who Need It Most

Across party lines, Americans see getting economic relief to people who need it as the most appealing part of the Democrats’ approach to the economy, followed by putting regular people before big corporations and CEOs.