President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic response had led to a surge in his approval rating and to a record moment for him in the Gallup poll.
A record-tying 49 percent of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling his job, while a record-low 45 percent disapprove, according to a Gallup survey released Tuesday. Trump’s plus-four net approval rating also is a record.
The uptick in his job approval rating was driven by Americans’ attitude on the coronavirus response. By a margin of 60-38 percent, Americans say they approve of Trump’s handling of the response to COVID-19. This includes 94 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats who approve of his handling of the response.
“On March 16, Trump acknowledged the seriousness of the situation by urging people to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and to have workers and students stay home if possible,” Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones wrote in an online analysis. “The administration has had daily press conferences since then to update the nation on what the federal government is doing to address the situation.”
For Trump’s overall job approval rating, 92 percent of Republicans approve, as do 43 percent of independents and 13 percent of Democrats. Trump’s 49 percent approval rating equals his approval in January and February around the time of the Senate’s acquittal of him following the impeachment trial.
“Historically, presidential job approval has increased when the nation is under threat,” Jones wrote. “Every president from Franklin Roosevelt through George W. Bush saw their approval rating surge at least 10 points after a significant national event of this kind. Bush's 35-point increase after 9/11 is the most notable rally effect on record.
“During these rallies, independents and supporters of the opposing party to the president typically show heightened support for the commander in chief,” Jones added.
The poll was conducted March 13-22.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.