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JTN Poll with Scott Rasmussen: Despite millions unemployed, Trump's approval rating at 45%

'In normal times, a president's approval rating would tank when 10 million people are swiftly thrown out of work,' Rasmussen said.

Published: April 10, 2020 12:21pm

Updated: April 10, 2020 1:50pm

Despite record unemployment and a constricting economy due to coronavirus, President Trump's approval rating was 45%, according to the Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen

"In normal times, a president's approval rating would tank when 10 million people are swiftly thrown out of work," Rasmussen said. "Obviously, for the moment, voters are treating this as a special circumstance. Looking forward, it's likely that the president's ratings will reflect the manner in which society and business are re-opened. If the economy stumbles through June but rebounds strongly in the third quarter, the president will likely benefit. If things re-open too soon and there's another outbreak, the opposite will happen."  

The national survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted April 2-5, 2020 by Rasmussen, a polling veteran. Results came weeks after the country had already implemented widespread "social distancing" to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The polling results are in line with industry leaders, according to the RealClearPolitics average polling compilation looking at the president's approval rating.

"While this is the first JTN Job Approval survey, the results fit within the norm for this president," Rasmussen said. "That's not surprising because we live in a partisan era where presidential approval ratings are quite stable. President Obama's hovered around 47% for most of his first term and inched up only in the months leading up to his re-election. President Trump's are a point or two lower." 

Rasmussen gave the caveat that while the top-line approval results among the registered voters surveyed give a raw score, they do not measure intensity or propensity to actually vote. Younger people generally are less likely to vote than older voters.

"It is worth noting, however, that the president's ratings are at 50% among those with a high level of interest in the presidential election," Rasmussen said. "That's consistent with other data suggesting that Trump supporters have a higher level of enthusiasm about the election than his opponents. That's partly a reflection of the fact that the president's supporters tend to be found in groups most likely to participate in an election. Among voters older than 55, 53% approve of the president's performance. Just 39% of voters under 35 give him such positive ratings."

President Trump and his team are considering how to re-open U.S. society and businesses after the coronavirus, as Americans still shelter in place to slow the spread of disease.

"For the president and all officials, the way they re-open society will probably matter more than how they shut it down," Rasmussen also said. "People understand what has happened so far and that mistakes can be made when real-time responses are needed for unprecedented challenges. However, they will expect a more carefully, thought-out response to the next phase. What gets opened when? How do we decide? How do we monitor? How does the plan address economic concerns and social isolation while still being prudent about health care concerns."

Respondents were asked: "Do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Trump is performing his job?" They responded as below:

  • 31% Strongly Approve
  • 14% Somewhat Approve
  • 10% Somewhat Disapprove
  • 42% Strongly Disapprove
  • 3% Not Sure

Margin of sampling error: +/- 2.8% for full sample. 

To see the full demographic cross-tabulations for this polling question, click below​:

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