Coronavirus Concerns Plummet, Trump Approval Rises in 2020 Swing States

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Voters’ concerns about the coronavirus have plummeted and President Donald Trump’s approval rating has risen in six swinging states in the past two weeks, according to a new CNBC / Change Research poll.Still, the improvement did not help the president overcome a voting deficit against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

In Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, 66% of likely voters said they had serious concerns about Covid-19, according to the survey released Wednesday. The share fell 69% in a poll taken two weeks earlier. The share of respondents who said they had “very serious” concerns about the coronavirus fell from 49% to 45%.

At the same time, 48% of state voters said they approved of Trump’s work, while 52% disapproved of it. Two weeks ago, 46% of respondents said they approved of Trump’s work, compared with 54% who disapproved of it.

On how the president handled the coronavirus, approval rose to 47%, the highest since mid-May. Earlier this month, only 44% of respondents said they approved of the way Trump is handling Covid-19.

The Swing-State poll surveyed 4,904 people in the six states from Friday to Sunday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points.

The changes in public opinion come as the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, which is among the worst in the world, appears to be easing. The number of new cases and hospitalizations of Covid-19 in the United States has steadily declined, as has the percentage of tests returning positive.

The United States has reported more than 5.7 million cases of Covid-19 and at least 178,000 deaths from the disease, both higher than any other country, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Trump’s inability to contain the outbreak appeared to hamper his efforts to win a second term in the White House later this year.

Despite the increase in the president’s approval rating in six states that will help determine who wins the election, the poll shows a tough environment for him. Voters in the pivotal state said with a 51% to 49% margin that they believed Biden and the Democrats would do a better job than Trump and the GOP in dealing with the coronavirus.

Although the survey shows a competitive presidential race, it found that Biden led Trump by a 49% to 46% margin in key states. It has an edge over the incumbent in five of the six states, while North Carolina is practically tied.

  • Arizona: Biden 49%, Trump 47%
  • Florida: Biden 49%, Trump 46%
  • Michigan: Biden 50%, Trump 44%
  • North Carolina: Biden 48%, Trump 47%
  • Pennsylvania: Biden 49%, Trump 46%
  • Wisconsin: Biden 49%, Trump 44%

While it is unclear how much Biden benefited from last week’s Democratic National Convention, voters gave him high marks for his speech accepting the candidacy. About 7 in 10 respondents to the CNBC / Change poll said they had a positive reaction to the remarks.

Trump will have the opportunity to counter Biden’s message with his own speech at the closing night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday.

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