Support for President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic reached a new low on Sunday as various parts of the country continue to experience a surge in infections, according to a new poll.
The survey, conducted by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found that just 32 percent of Americans said they support the president’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, marking a 12-point decline from an identical survey released in March.
The president’s marks on the economy, long a strength, also have gradually declined since March. Forty-eight percent of respondents said they approve of his handling of the economy amid the pandemic, down from 56 percent in March.
Overall, just 38 percent of Americans said they approve of the president’s performance in the White House. Opinions divide starkly along party lines, with 81 percent of Republicans expressing approval of Trump’s job performance. A smaller percentage (68 percent) of GOP respondents said they approve of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, however.
The findings follow a week in which Trump appeared to shift his tone on the severity of the current health crisis. While the president initially suggested that the coronavirus would eventually disappear, he said at a press conference last Tuesday that the pandemic would likely get worse before it gets better.
He also implored Americans to wear face masks as part of an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19. Trump has been reluctant to wear face coverings in public, wearing one for the first time earlier this month during a visit to Walter Reed hospital.
As of Sunday afternoon, the U.S. had reported more than 4.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and roughly 146,000 deaths stemming from it, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
The U.S. reported more than 1,000 deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time since May last week.
Waning support for Trump’s coronavirus response has coincided with polls showing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with an advantage over Trump in the 2020 election race. A new NBC News poll released Sunday showed Biden leading Trump in Arizona, Michigan and Florida, three battleground states the president carried in the 2016 election.
The AP-NORC survey was conducted among a population of 1,057 U.S. adults between July 16 and July 20. It has a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.