WASHINGTON (NBC NEWS) — Americans have significantly more confidence in their governors than in President Trump when it comes to handling the coronavirus, according to new data from a NBC|SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll.
Forty-three percent of respondents approve of Trump’s handling of the virus, while 55 percent disapprove.
That’s compared with 60 percent of Americans who say they approve of how their home-state governor is handling the response and just 37 percent who said they disapprove.
And seven out of 10 Americans say they trust their governor over the president to decide when to reopen businesses in their area. Just 25 percent say they trust Trump over their governor. Even among Republicans, just over half — 53 percent — say they trust the president’s judgement on reopening over their governor’s.
The new data comes from the first installment of a weekly online tracking poll on social and economic issues that will be released over the coming months.
There have been more than 2.9 million cases of COVID-19 in America so far and more than 131,000 deaths attributed to the virus in the country.
As case counts and deaths continued to pile up in the spring, the president has downplayed the surge — blaming it on increased testing. While the president has been slow to publicly support mask-wearing, and other social distancing techniques, his hope that the virus will “disappear” isn’t in-line with Americans’ fears of a second wave.
Seventy-nine percent of Americans said they were either “very” or “somewhat” worried of a second wave — 62 percent of Republicans report being worried and an overwhelming 83 percent of Democrats said the same.
However, the president’s overall job rating has remained consistent throughout the pandemic. Trump’s overall job approval stands at 43 percent — in line with various polls taken since March.
As states have begun to reopen businesses in recent months — moves that have been frustrated by the rising case counts — Trump has sought to promote the country’s reopening and frame a return to normal as an economic imperative.
Sixty-three percent of Americans said they feared businesses were opening “too quickly”, while just a third of Americans said businesses were reopening “too slowly”. However that split nearly flips when asked of Republicans. Just 37 percent of Republicans believed businesses were opening too quickly, while 61 percent said it was too slow.
Despite more reopenings, though, most Americans have not gone to newly-reopened businesses. When asked what they’ve left their home for in the past 24 hours, just 16 percent of Americas said they ate at a bar or restaurant and 22 percent said they left their home to exercise. Forty-four percent of Americans said they left their home to go for a walk or get fresh air and 55 percent said they left their home to buy groceries.
And while group gathering restrictions have relaxed in most states, just 27 percent of Americans reported leaving their homes to visit with friends or family in the day prior to taking the survey.