Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, governors and local governments across the nation have been taking matters into their own hands, implementing various measures to curb the spread of the virus. The work is paying off, suggests a new poll conducted by Opinium.
Per Newsweek, the poll shows that more Americans approve of their state's response to the pandemic than the way the federal government has been handling it. Sixty-one percent of Americans say their state is doing a good job, and 47 percent approve of the federal government's response.
Americans in states with a significant number of COVID-19 cases seem to be satisfied with how their governments are doing. In Kentucky, Utah, and New Hampshire, 90 percent or more think their states are handling the outbreak well. Approval ratings for the governments of California, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey range between 65 percent and 73 percent.
Approval ratings are not much different in states where anti-lockdown protest movements have popped up. For instance, 63 percent of respondents from Michigan -- where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's measures were protested -- say their government is handling the pandemic well.
Most Americans do not seem to share the sentiments expressed by demonstrators in various states. According to the poll, 86 percent of Americans believe social distancing measures are necessary in order to contain COVID-19, and 84 percent are concerned about the spread of the virus.
Furthermore, the survey says, only 33 percent of Democrats support the federal government's actions. The approval rating is much higher among Republicans, 72 percent of whom approve of the Donald Trump administration response. Seventy-two percent of Republicans approve of their state's handling of the pandemic. That number is 10 percentage points lower among Democrats.
As Giulia Prati, vice president of research at Opinium's U.S. branch, explained, voters remain divided along partisan lines.
"Though national crises often have a unifying effect on the population, bringing people together against a common threat, this does not seem to be the case right now in the U.S.," Prati said.
Public perception of Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic could have tremendous implications for the 2020 presidential election, given that the virus appears to be one of the top issues for voters across the nation. Recent polling suggests that the commander-in-chief is losing his grip on crucial battleground states.According to an Ipsos survey released earlier this week, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, Joe Biden, is beating the president in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Trump won all three states in 2016.