A plurality of Americans narrowly approve of President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus crisis, according to a new IBD/TIPP poll. In addition, President Trump's overall approval rating has turned slightly positive.
The coronavirus crisis has infected more than 300,000 Americans with over 10,000 dead, with both figures set to rise sharply. The U.S. economy is entering a severe recession as governments issue "stay-at-home" orders to slow the Covid-19 spread.
So far President Trump is getting a modest boost from the coronavirus crisis. Some 43% approve of how the commander in chief has been handling the Covid-19 outbreak. This compares to 41% who said they disapprove. But among independents, just 34% support Trump's coronavirus performance vs. 47% who disapprove.
While he has been criticized for playing down the seriousness of the virus early on, the number who say the coronavirus threat is exaggerated now comes in at just 16%, with 76% saying it is a serious threat.
The Trump Administration and Congress have moved quickly to stem the economic damage from Covid-19. President Trump signed into law a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill which will see those who earn less than $75,000 getting a $1,200 payment. There will be an additional $500 for each child under 17.
The bill also includes expanded unemployment benefits and $350 billion for small business loans.
Trump Approval Rating Rises
The president's handling of the coronavirus crisis, essentially the only political, economic and personal issue right now, is boosting his overall approval. For 45% said they now approve of how President Trump is handling his job overall, with an identical proportion saying they disapprove. This is an improvement over the March IBD/TIPP Poll where just 41% of Americans approved of Trump's performance vs. 54% who disapproved.
But among independents, Trump's job approval is 32%-52%. The net -20 reading is equal to March, when independents gave him a 37%-57% job approval rating.
Trump's job approval ratings among Republican voters remains extremely strong, coming in at an overwhelming 85%, while just 11% said they outright disapprove. The opinion among Democrats remains almost as unfavorable, with 75% saying they disapprove and just 18% saying they approve.
Biden Extends Lead On Trump
Likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden saw his lead on Donald Trump widening in the latest poll, even as the number who said they would vote for him dipped slightly. In total, 47% said they would vote for Biden, while just 41% said they would vote for Trump. A further 5% said they would vote for another candidate, 7% were unsure of who they would vote while just 1% opted not to answer.
Ex-Vice President Joe Biden topped Trump 49% to 46% in the March IBD/TIPP Poll, while Trump had cut the margin to 49%-48% in late January.
Bernie Sanders also would beat Trump in the latest IBD/TIPP Poll, but just by 43%-42%.
Joe Biden Easily Beats Bernie Sanders
Joe Biden now garners the support of 62% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents vs. just 30% for Bernie Sanders. Biden is now the presumptive Democratic nominee, racking up big wins in recent weeks. With campaigning and related news coverage essentially halted due to the coronavirus and several states delaying elections, Biden seems to be on a glide path to the Democratic convention, which may end up being virtual.
Biden has kept a relatively low profile in recent weeks, offering some criticism of Trump's handling of the coronavirus crisis.
One wild card is if Sanders' core supporters will end up backing Biden in the fall. A majority will, but a fraction could back Trump or simply stay at home.
That could be important in key states. A narrow popular vote edge would not necessarily translate into an Electoral College victory for Democrats.
Trump leads all Democrats among self-described investors, though his lead over Biden narrowed to a single point. Conversely his lead over Sanders increased to 10 points.
In total, 1,226 adults aged 18+ nationwide participated in the IBD/TIPP online survey. The results are weighted to mirror the national population for age, gender, race, and region.
Panel samples are convenience samples and are not probability samples and hence the concept of margin of error does not apply. A probability sample of similar size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9% at a confidence level of 95%.
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