As has been reported multiple times in recent weeks, thanks to President Trump's ability to politicize anything in the name of his own ego, perceptions of the COVID-19 threat vary widely between red states and blue states, though that may quickly change. The biggest population centers in the U.S. tend to be in blue states, and that's where a virus like this takes hold first. But a new Change Research poll suggests that as the virus spreads, and as more people's lives are directly impacted, their feelings about the President's responses to the crisis may change as well.
The new survey is based on interviews with 1,845 Americans between March 26 and March 28, and Change Research published the results Wednesday. They asked people questions not only about their fears over the virus, the trustworthiness of government leaders and news organizations, abut also about whether a national vote-by-mail policy should be considered in this election.
When asked how worried they were about the COVID-19 crisis, 78 percent of Democrats said they were fairly to extremely worried, while only 28 percent of Republicans had the same response. Among independents, 49 percent were in the same range of worry. Overall, only 5 percent of those surveyed know someone who has died from the virus. And, by far, more people are being impacted by the economic fallout from this crisis.
As of the time of this survey last week, twice as many Democrats as Republicans had known someone diagnosed with the coronavirus, and only 2 percent of respondents had tested positive themselves.
Trustworthiness of elected officials pales in comparison to the trust that Americans have in the CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Even state governors can claim more trust than the president or the vice-president during this crisis. 48 percent said they don't trust Joe Biden "at all." And a full 33 percent of respondents don't trust network news "at all." (Thankfully, 53 percent said they don't trust Fox News at all.)
A key finding of the survey is that among respondents who have had some known contact with COVID-19 — either themselves or someone they knew — 76 percent disapprove of President Trump's handling of the crisis. Among people whose lives haven't yet been touched by the virus, only 49 percent disapprove.
At least the survey found that 92 percent of respondents are avoiding shaking hands with people and 85 percent are conscientiously washing their hands for 20 seconds!