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Americans Divided on Trump's Handling of COVID-19 Situation

Americans Divided on Trump's Handling of COVID-19 Situation

Story Highlights

  • 50% approve, 48% disapprove of Trump's handling COVID-19 situation
  • COVID-19 situation approval down from 60% last month
  • Overall job approval rating now at 49%

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans divide evenly when asked whether they approve or disapprove of the way President Donald Trump is handling the coronavirus situation in the U.S., with 50% approving and 48% disapproving. Approval of his handling of the COVID-19 crisis is down 10 percentage points from last month, including a 10-point decline among independents and a 16-point decline among Democrats.

Changes in President Trump's Approval Rating for Handling the Coronavirus Situation
% Approve
Mar 13-22 Apr 14-28 Change
% % pct. pts.
U.S. adults 60 50 -10
Republicans 94 91 -3
Independents 60 50 -10
Democrats 27 11 -16

Given the dominance of the coronavirus situation in Americans' minds, it is not surprising that the president's overall job approval rating nearly matches his approval rating on COVID-19.

Gallup's April 14-28 poll finds Trump's overall job approval at 49%, the same as in a March 13-22 poll but higher than his reading of 43% in an April 1-14 survey. To the extent that these variations are not a function of sampling error, they could be tied to Americans' changing outlook on the coronavirus situation in general and Americans' increasingly evaluating Trump on the COVID issue alone.

The poll was conducted as the number of new daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. declined from its peak on April 5. The large majority of interviews were completed before the backlash over Trump's remarks questioning whether injecting household disinfectant into people with the virus could be an effective treatment.

Most of the variation in Trump's recent job approval rating is among independents. In the current poll, 47% of independents approve of the job he is doing as president, the highest Gallup has measured for the group to date. Ninety-three percent of Republicans and 8% of Democrats approve of the job Trump is doing.

Line graph. President Trump’s job approval rating among political party groups, 2020.

Generally speaking, Trump's recent job approval ratings have been higher than at any point in his presidency, largely because of modest rallies in support for him tied to his acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial and the coronavirus crisis.

During his 13th quarter in office, stretching from Jan. 20 through April 19, he averaged 47% job approval. That is four percentage points better than his previous high quarters -- 43% during his 10th (April 20-July 19, 2019) and 12th (Oct. 20, 2019-Jan 19, 2020) quarters in office.

Trump's average approval rating throughout his three-plus years in office remains at 40%.

Explore President Trump's approval ratings and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.

View complete question responses and trends (PDF download).

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

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