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President’s job approval masks underlying concerns about virus response and the economy

by RFNC Staff

While President Trump enjoys a bump in his approval ratings, underlying numbers on the economy and for Republicans in general don’t look as good. According to the Gallup Poll on Tuesday, President Donald Trump has matched his best ever approval rating of 49 percent. That’s up five points in the two weeks since his approval slid to 44 percent. The five point uptick for the President in the Gallup Poll is matched by other public polls conducted in the last week.

Americans rallying behind an executive during a crisis isn’t a new phenomenon, nor is it exclusive to the President. Governor Cooper, who has also been out front on COVID-19, has also seen his approval numbers increase. A PPP survey released on Tuesday has Cooper’s approval at 56 percent (higher than Trump’s 49 percent). Additionally, 63 percent of respondents said they support Cooper’s handling of the coronavirus. Similarly, the conservative NC Civitas Institute’s poll found Cooper with a 62 percent approval rating and Trump with 52 percent. 

But while the current numbers may be rosier for Trump, concerns about the virus and the economy are rising – setting up a potential fall as things get worse:

  • Civiqs daily tracking poll found increasing concern with the outbreak over time both nationally and in North Carolina. 40 percent of Americans are “extremely concerned” — more than double the number before the stock market crashed on March 9. Similarly, the number of people indicating dissatisfaction with the government response to the coronavirus is growing by the day.
  • The Morning Consult’s daily consumer sentiment index has also fallen off a cliff since March 9.
  • Tendency Research a week ago found that 63 percent believe that school closing, cancellations and restrictions on gatherings was an appropriate reaction to the crisis, while only 32 percent thought it was an over-reaction.
  • This week, Morning Consult found that 74 percent support a national quarantine or stay-at-home mandate.
  • And in North Carolina, Senators Burr and Tillis are severely underwater. According to PPP, majority of voters want Burr to resign over his insider stock trading and a paltry 26 percent approve of Tillis’s job performance.
  • Since the beginning of March, the Congressional generic ballot has also trended towards Democrats who now have a 7.5 point lead in the FiveThirtyEight.

Despite the President’s tenuous approval bump, his personal ratings are not shared by down-ballot Republicans. And as the economy and outbreak response remain fluid, approval ratings are likely to continue to shift.