Approval For Government Handling Of Coronavirus Hits A New Low

In a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, only about one-third of the public approves.
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House in Washington on July 21.
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House in Washington on July 21.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Only about a third of the public now approves of the federal responses to the pandemic, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds, marking a new record low.

Just 34% of Americans approve of the way the U.S. government is handling issues related to the coronavirus, with 56% disapproving.

President Trump’s ratings on the pandemic are similarly underwater, with 38% approving and 58% disapproving.

The results represent a continuing erosion of trust in the U.S. response to the crisis. In March and April, both the federal government and Trump specifically garnered positive ratings. Approval for the government response reached as high as 57% in late March, while Trump’s approval rating on the issue reached the 50% mark around that time.

Results of a new HuffPost/YouGov tracking poll on the coronavirus pandemic.
Results of a new HuffPost/YouGov tracking poll on the coronavirus pandemic.
Ariel Edwards-Levy/HuffPost

Only about one-third of Americans now say they’re even somewhat confident that government statements about the coronavirus are reliable and accurate, with a roughly equal number saying the same of Trump’s statements on the issue.

About half of Americans, 49%, currently say that they’re very concerned about the spread of coronavirus in the country. That number reached as high as 58% in early April, then steadily dropped to 36% in early June before beginning to climb again.

Just 19% of the public feels there are currently too many coronavirus-related restrictions in their area, with 36% saying the level is about right, and 37% saying that there are not enough restrictions. Only a quarter of those living in the Northeast worry that their local restrictions are too lax, while 39% of those in other parts of the country say the same.

Twenty-four percent of Americans want to see restrictions shutting down all nonessential businesses and activities in their area, with another 31% say most businesses and activities should be restricted, but that a few should be allowed to reopen. Another 24% believe that most but not all nonessential businesses and activities should be reopened, while 11% say that restrictions should be lifted entirely.

When half of those polled were asked a binary question ― whether or not they were trying to stay home as much as possible because of the outbreak ― about three-quarters said they were. The rest of the respondents were given a middle option ― that they were choosing to go out sometimes, but taking precautions. In this group, 45% said they were staying home as much as possible, 35% that they were going out with precautions, and 16% that they were living as normally as possible.

Two-thirds of the public believes that the outbreak will have a lasting effect on the U.S., with just 20% expecting things to soon go back to normal.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted July 17-19 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some but not all potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate.

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