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Americans are staring to sour on Trump’s pandemic response

U.S. President Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to protest COVID-19 restrictions, like this one in Pennsylvania this week. But polls clearly show that Americans massively disagree with these protesters that it’s time to reopen the economy. (Jason Burles/CBC News)

There are signs the political bounce U.S. President Donald Trump’s received in the polls earlier in the coronavirus crisis has, at least for now, deflated.

Election polls in key states show him trailing Joe Biden, the presumed Democratic nominee for president in the November election, and the Gallup polling firm registered his biggest drop in popularity since taking office.

Trump enjoyed a brief rise in public opinion in late March, getting some of his best polling numbers since early 2017, averaging 46 per cent approval and 50 per cent disapproval on the polling site FiveThirtyEight, which tracks a number of polls.

That polling pop fizzled this month, dropping to 43 per cent and 52 per cent, respectively.

The polling aggregator shows a widening gap between Trump’s approval and disapproval in April in several of the polls it tracks, with the spread ranging between two and 11 percentage points.

‘You never mention it’

In recent days, some polls also suggest Trump is out of sync with public sentiment when it comes to reopening of the economy. Multiple surveys suggest an overwhelming majority of Americans favour a go-slow approach, but Trump has been vocal about his support for protesters in several states calling for an end to COVID-19 shutdowns.

This week, Trump chastised reporters for not giving him the credit he says he deserves for tackling the pandemic.

While the death toll from the virus has surpassed 50,000 in the U.S., projections have been revised significantly downward in recent days.

Trump also expressed annoyance at the lack of media coverage about how the U.S., after a panic over ventilators, now has such a surplus of ventilators that it can start exporting some.

“You never mention it. You never mention it,” Trump said at a press conference Wednesday.

“There’s no story [about] what a great job we’ve done with ventilators.”

Polls in Florida in the last week show him three or four points behind Biden.

His numbers are worse in Michigan. A handful of surveys in the last week show him lagging Biden by between six and nine points.

In Pennsylvania, numerous surveys show him behind between five and eight points. One shows him tied with Biden.

Wisconsin is a bit better for Trump. But he was still lagging in a number of surveys.

It’s been a couple of weeks since the last survey from Arizona, but Trump was down by as much as nine per cent in some polls in a state Republicans almost always carry.

Seniors favour gradual reopening

In Michigan, where demonstrators protesting Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s lockdown orders were among those cheered by Trump, a poll commissioned for Fox News last week showed the governor about 15 points more popular than Trump. Alexander Panetta CBC

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