Poll: Trump job approval hits new high as voters rally during crisis

Approval of President Trump’s job performance inches up to a record high in the latest Fox News Poll, as voters rally to both the White House and Congress in the fight against coronavirus. Amid widespread concerns about the virus’s spread and personally getting infected, 49 percent approve of the job Trump is doing as president. That’s up from 48 percent two weeks ago and 47 percent in late February. Forty-nine percent of voters disapprove, marking only the third time in Fox News polling that fewer than half rate him negatively. Eighty-nine percent of Republicans approve of Trump, which is not far from his record 91 percent in January. In addition, approval sits at or near his best among women, Democrats, whites, and white evangelical Christians. Voters give Congress an even bigger ratings bump than the president: 35 percent approve of the job lawmakers are doing, up four points since March and up nine since late February. On responding to the pandemic, 51 percent approve of Trump. But it’s Dr. Anthony Fauci who gets the best ratings of those tested, as 80 percent approve of him, while 62 percent approve of Dr. Deborah Birx and 52 percent Vice President Pence. By a 21-point margin, voters are more likely to approve of how their state government (77 percent) is handling the pandemic than the federal government (56 percent). Trump’s rating on the pandemic is dampened by over half (55 percent) thinking the government responded too slowly and nearly half (47 percent) feeling he isn’t taking it seriously enough. “The president’s bump in approval isn’t huge, and certainly not on par with the rally effect for George W. Bush after 9/11,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democrat Chris Anderson. “But it could be consequential that he’s closing in on 50 percent, which is critical for his re-election chances.” On specific aspects of dealing with the pandemic, Trump receives his highest score on empathizing with Americans (51 percent) and lowest on understanding the facts (45 percent). About half say he is providing strong leadership (48 percent) and making good policy decisions (47 percent). Concerns about the virus are high. Fully 94 percent worry about the virus spreading. Seventy-six percent are concerned about catching it, up from 69 percent two weeks ago. Large majorities are also concerned about their state running out of medical equipment to treat coronavirus patients (80 percent), being able to access health care services (77 percent), and getting a coronavirus test (75 percent). Twenty-one percent know someone who has the virus, up from 12 percent two weeks ago. In addition, most, 79 percent, fear they or someone in their family could die from it. And while most expect the worst is still ahead (75 percent), a majority of 57 percent says the country is moving in the right direction in the fight against the pandemic. By a 40-point margin, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to think things are going in the right direction on dealing with the pandemic. And by an 18-point margin, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to think the worst is yet to come. Overall, 8 in 10 favor a national stay-in-place order (80 percent) and requiring some companies temporarily produce medical supplies (84 percent).

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