In our daily tracking poll on satisfaction with the federal response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, overall sentiment has been gradually running away from Trump. Currently, among all registered voters, 40% are satisfied versus 58% who are not. Among Independents, it’s 39-59, down from 42-54 when the national emergency was first declared.
But even among Republicans, satisfaction with the federal government’s response is at an all-time low:
The numbers are still 82-16 “satisfied,” but that’s down from 86-10 at Trump’s highest point. And remember, this is an election of inches. We don’t need mass defections.
And note the erosion has really begun in the last two weeks, down a net 8 points. No major events have happened in that time frame other than the relentless, brutal daily death toll.
So is this slippage reflected in Trump’s job approval numbers? The answer is a surprising “yes.” Surprising, because those numbers have barely budged in years.
That isn’t only his worst rating this calendar year—it’s the worst net disapproval in over two years, since December 2017!
That’s driven, for the most part, by erosion in support among independents, who now approve of Trump’s job by a 41-54 margin. (Down from a decent 45-50 during that rally-around-the-flag effect after Trump declared the national emergency.) But—and this is so weird—we’re finally seeing movement among Republicans!
I went with the three-year chart to show just how stable Trump’s numbers have remained among Republicans during his entire tenure, and in particular over the last year. So you might look at that 89-8 approval rating among Republicans and think, “nothing here to see.” But that’s a 3-point drop from his previous 91-7 rating. We just don’t see that, typically.
Which is maybe why Trump’s campaign strategists are sounding the alarm.
Got that? Trump campaign officials are worried that voters will react angrily to people dying. Who knew? Clearly not Trump, who is utterly immune to empathy.
“Trump’s campaign has become concerned about losing support in several key swing states, particularly Florida and Wisconsin. Some advisers have all but written off Michigan, which Trump captured in 2016 by fewer than 11,000 votes,” reports the AP. “He is now locked in a feud with the state’s Democratic governor.”
In our private Civiqs polling, Michigan remains tied, so no relaxing please. Also, much of the damage in the state has taken place in the Black community, and we know how much Republican voters care about that. Heck, they probably approve. But it’s also true that suburban Michigan is doing what suburbs are doing everywhere—moving toward the Democrats in dramatic fashion, and nothing Trump is doing today, either rhetorically or substantively, will stem those trends.
”Trump campaign officials who requested anonymity to describe campaign strategy stressed that the election is still six months away, an eternity in politics,” the AP further reports. “They noted polls can be wrong or change, especially if the pandemic wanes or the economy rebounds. And they said the campaign believes that voters will credit Trump for the strong economy before the pandemic hit, even as they have expressed worry that he could be pushing to open things too quickly and that any resulting deaths will not be forgiven by voters in November.”
Publicly, of course, the campaign puts on its usual bravado and bullshit. “He is bringing the country together with determinative action and results,” the campaign’s communications director said. In reality he’s starting to shed even his strongest supporters. And in an election in which seven states are neck-and-neck, the last thing Trump needs is to lose even a single additional supporter.
Now we wait and see if Trump can be convinced by his own campaign to stop killing people, if only to save his reelection chances.