A pair of polls released Friday morning show the nation rallying around President Donald Trump as the "wartime" leader directs the federal government's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Surveys by ABC News / Ipsos and Axios / Harris found that more than half of Americans approve of Trump's handling of the crisis.
Trump earns high marks on his handling of COVID-19
According to the nationwide ABC News / Ipsos study taken March 18-19, 55% of Americans approve of the president's management of COVID-19, compared to 43% who disapprove of his performance. Trump's approval on this issue is nearly reversed from last week when the same pollsters found 43% approved of his handling of the coronavirus while 54% disapproved.
A separate national poll by Harris Insights taken March 17-18 for news organization Axios finds nearly identical numbers, with a growing number of Americans giving high marks to Trump during the crisis. According to the researchers, 56% of Americans approve of Trump's management of COVID-19, an improvement from 51% who said the same during the survey's first wave on March 14-15.
Americans give Trump a 53% job approval rating and 60% on jobs and the economy
The Harris study also found Trump's overall job approval rating climbing to 53% — one of the highest points of his presidency and up from 46% just two weeks ago — as a majority of Americans support his handling of key areas of public life.
On economic issues, for example, 60% of Americans approve of Trump's management of the economy and efforts to stimulate job creation during the crisis, as forecasters are predicting the country will likely be in a recession for at least half of the year as a result of the pandemic that originated in China.
A majority of Americans also approve of the president's handling of other key issues. For example, 53% of respondents told pollsters they approve of Trump's immigration policies while a resounding 58% said they approve of his efforts to combat terrorism. Meanwhile, 52% said they approve of Trump's management of the nation's foreign affairs.
The poll also found that 61% of Americans trust the president to provide accurate information during the outbreak, an improvement of 4 points from the survey's first wave of interviews performed on Saturday and Sunday.
Most Americans are canceling outings and taking precautions
Both the Harris and ABC News studies also find the vast majority of Americans are taking the coronavirus seriously.
According to the Harris poll, for instance, 76% said they are leaving their residence as little as possible while only 24% indicated they are going outside as they normally would. The ABC News study found a similar result with 72% of Americans saying they have cancelled or postponed plans, such as going out to dinner, vacations, and attending religious services.
The ABC News survey also found that 79% of Americans said they are concerned that they or someone they know will be infected with the coronavirus.