Trump approval remains steady during coronavirus pandemic: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON — As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, Americans’ views of the federal and state government response to the crisis are starting to sour — yet President Trump’s personal approval rating has remained steady.

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that 41% of Americans approve of the president’s job performance, while 58% disapprove. That’s consistent with opinions of Trump before the pandemic, as well as throughout his more than three years in office.

The survey highlights one of the remarkable features of Trump’s tenure as president: Despite a steady drumbeat of controversies, an impeachment trial and now a historic public health crisis, few Americans have changed their views of him. He’s failed to increase his support in any measurable way, yet he also has retained the approval of his core backers, including the overwhelming majority of Republicans.

Less than six months from his upcoming Election Day face-off against Democrat Joe Biden, the consistency of Trump’s support appears to leave him with the same narrow path to victory that first propelled him to the White House in 2016, even as the pandemic and resulting economic crisis upend nearly every aspect of American life.

Overall, the poll shows that 39% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the virus.

Just 31% of Americans approve of the federal government’s response. Forty-eight percent disapprove, including 20% of Trump’s supporters — suggesting that some view the president apart from the sprawling federal apparatus he oversees.

Approval ratings for the federal government have slipped as the pandemic has stretched on, from 40% approval one month ago to 31% now. State governments continue to get higher marks from the public, though support there is slipping as well. About half of Americans — 51% — say they approve of the job being done by their states, down from 63% in April.

The AP-NORC survey shows that 62% of Americans say Trump isn’t listening to health experts enough as he navigates the pandemic response. Among Democrats, 91% say he is not listening to the experts enough. Three in 10 Republicans also say he isn’t listening enough, while a majority — 59% — think he is doing about right.

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