Some critics of President Donald Trump in the media and the Democratic Party point to a declining approval rating as evidence that he has done a poor job handling the coronavirus pandemic.
As one poll suggests, however, Trump is currently experiencing his highest rate of support for job performance among independents.
Gallup found that 50% of respondents approved of the president’s job performance and 49% favored his coronavirus plan overall, which does reveal a slip in approval numbers during the crisis from their mid-March highs. Much of that decline can be attributed to Democrats, though, who registered 27% approval in March and just 11% in the latest poll.
Independents make an impact
In his coronavirus response, support among independents also fell — from 60% in March to 50% in April. At the same time, though, Gallup found that this group was responsible for strengthening his job-performance approval numbers.
“Most of the variation in Trump’s recent job approval rating is among independents,” the company wrote. “In the current poll, 47% of independents approve of the job he is doing as president, the highest Gallup has measured for the group to date.”
The poll, which spanned April 14-28, found that 49% of Americans approved of Trump’s overall job performance, tying the same response to a March 13-22 poll question and showing an increase from an early-April dip to 43%.
Comparing the mid-March and mid-April results, Trump’s support among Democrats dropped from 13% to 8% while ticking up one point from 92% to 93% among respondents in his own party.
Gallup noted that Trump’s current job approval is at roughly its highest point since he took office in 2017.
Pollsters described “modest rallies” during the first quarter of 2020 based on the ongoing health crisis and his preceding impeachment acquittal, finding his average job-performance approval rate for the first three months of the year to be 47%.
A host of other polls show numbers lower than Gallup’s latest report and the RealClearPolitics average pegged Trump’s overall approval at 44.1% with disapproval at 50.8%. As for his handling of the coronavirus, the same firm reported an average of 45% approval for the president and 51.6% disapproval among the general public.
While the 2016 election proved that any poll result should be taken with a grain of salt, the recent Gallup report suggests that Trump is not doing nearly as poorly as his critics would have everyone believe.
As the dangers of a deadly pandemic recede and more Americans are allowed to get back to work, his approval rating appears ready to trend upward ahead of the vitally important November election.