Registered voters believe Joe Biden can handle coronavirus, but not the economy

Linley SandersData Journalist
July 15, 2020, 7:15 PM GMT+0

Registered voters believe Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would do a better job than President Donald Trump leading the nation through several key issues facing America today.

The incumbent president trails Biden significantly on several of the biggest problems perceived by Americans today — including race relations (51% vs 29%) and the coronavirus pandemic (48% vs 34%) — according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov Poll. However, Trump continues to narrowly best the former vice president on his perceived strength in handling the economy (43% vs 38%).

The Yahoo News poll was fielded July 11 – 14, as the nation grapples with protests over racial inequality and simultaneously watches COVID-19 cases continue to grow. The general public (62%) and registered voters (64%) are now increasingly certain that the Trump administration was not prepared to deal with COVID-19 when it struck the country.

Just one in five (21%) Americans and a quarter (25%) of registered voters say the Trump administration was adequately prepared to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, the lowest number on this trended Yahoo News/YouGov question to date.

Much of the decreased confidence has come from inside the president’s own party. Compared to March, Republicans are now twice as likely to say the Trump administration was not prepared to deal with the virus (15% to 34%). The number of Republicans who say the White House was prepared to deal with the virus has dropped from two-thirds (63%) to fewer than half (44%) this week.

There are certain decisions that could bolster President Trump’s standing with registered voters on his handling of coronavirus. Three-quarters of registered voters (78%) and two-thirds (65%) of Republicans believe that President Trump should be encouraging people to wear face masks. Another three in five (61%) registered voters want him to meet regularly with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Related: Who do Americans trust most for medical advice amid COVID-19?

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Yahoo News/YouGov Poll

Methodology: The Yahoo! News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,504 US adult residents interviewed online between July 11-14, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US residents. The margin of error for the entire sample is approximately 3.2%.

Image: Getty