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President Trump touring the mask production plant in Phoenix on Tuesday.
Poll finds approval of Trump’s virus response slipping — but Republicans are increasingly ready for reopening.
Approval of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus continues to slip, but an increasingly sizable share of Republicans now say that if anything, the government response hasn’t been too lax — it’s been overboard. These are among the findings of a Monmouth University poll released on Tuesday.
In the survey, 42 percent of Americans said they approved of Trump’s handling of the pandemic — a four-percentage-point slide from April, and eight points down from March.
Asked about the information Trump has provided to the public about the virus, just one in three Americans said they found it helpful; 42 percent described it as harmful. Most Americans (55 percent) said his public statements about the outbreak had been largely inconsistent.
In the poll, 54 percent said that the federal government had not done enough to help states hit hard by the virus, roughly on par with the results from last month. By more than two to one, Americans were more likely to worry that states would lift restrictions too quickly, rather than too slowly.
But among Republicans, there are signs of a shift.
A slight majority of G.O.P. respondents said they were more worried about things reopening too slowly, rather than too quickly. And while Democrats were more likely to say that the federal government’s efforts to contain the virus had not gone far enough, Republicans were far more likely to say the federal response had been appropriate.
And now, for the first time, just as many Republicans (17 percent) said the federal government had in fact gone too far in its efforts to slow the virus’s spread as said it hadn’t done enough (16 percent). A month ago, Republicans were likelier to say the federal government had done too little.
Similarly, while a majority of Americans across party lines expressed support for their state governments’ response to the virus, an increasingly sizable share of Republicans now view their state governments as having overstepped, reflecting the potency of a protest movement demanding an end to government-mandated social distancing.
In the most recent Monmouth poll, 30 percent of Republicans said their state governments’ virus response had gone too far. That’s a big jump from the 11 percent of Republicans who said so last month.