Americans approve of President Trump’s executive orders, but can he implement them?

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
August 13, 2020, 5:52 PM UTC

A majority of Americans approve of the executive orders signed by President Donald Trump to extend COVID-19 economic relief, but fewer think he’ll be able to implement them.  

The president signed a quartet of executive orders on August 8 that included a payroll tax holiday and a modified extension of some of the enhanced unemployment benefits from the CARES act. 

The latest Economist/YouGov Poll of 1,500 US citizens shows most (57%) of Americans who have heard about the orders approve of them, while three in ten (30%) disapprove. 

Poll data also shows Trump’s executive orders are getting strong approval from Republicans who have heard about the orders (81%) and mild, but noteworthy support from Democrats (40%). 

Skepticism of Trump’s ability to implement these measures is high as questions linger about what a payroll tax holiday would look like. A third (33%) of Americans who have heard about the orders say the president will be able to implement his orders, while the same amount (33%) say he won’t be able to. Republicans who have heard about the orders have more faith they’ll become reality compared to Democrats (56% vs. 17%). 

The remaining orders signed by Trump on Saturday allowed officials to consider halting evictions, and deferred student loan payments until the end of the year.    

These orders were signed as a second stimulus bill withers in Congress. While 17 percent of Americans don’t think a bill will ever be passed, nine percent say it will happen within the next week, 18 percent say it’ll happen in the next two weeks, 28 percent say in the next month, 19 percent say in the next two months and nine percent say within the year. 

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week's Economist/YouGov Poll

Methodology: This Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US registered voters interviewed online between August 9 – 11, 2020. The 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, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.5% for the overall sample.

Image: Getty