President Donald Trump’s response to COVID-19 may be making it harder for him to win re-election.
His approval rating for handling the virus is low, and disapproval has reached its highest level since the crisis began in early February. At the same time, the Economist/YouGov Poll shows him consistently trailing the Democratic presumptive nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, by a significant margin. This week Biden is ahead by nine points among registered voters in the November horserace, 49 percent to 40 percent.
The number of coronavirus cases has increased in parts of the country that had not seen a high caseload before, and there is a sense among Americans that this crisis will continue. Four in five (84%) now say they have worn a face mask in public (up four points in the last week).
Half (52%) believe the coronavirus crisis will continue to get worse, though Republicans are more optimistic about the situation both nationally and in their own communities. Still, two-thirds of Republicans (like 76% of Americans overall) fear that current re-openings will increase the number of cases, and majorities support closing some already opened operations again (as Texas and Florida have just done) if necessary because of concerns about the spread of the virus.
The spread has raised concern about whether or not traditional campaigning is safe, and whether or not traditional conventions should be held. Republicans are far more interested than Democrats in holding their party’s August convention – just 30 percent of Republicans (compared with 55% of Democrats) would cancel their August events.
Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between June 28 - 30, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote and registration status. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.3% for the overall sample.