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The Zogby Poll®: Voters give slight edge to Trump vs. Biden in who is better equipped to handle pandemic; Cuomo is the highest rated politician at handling the coronavirus crisis; Trump rated higher than Sanders and Biden for his response to the pandemic

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Dr. Fauci is rated as the best in handling the Covid-19 crisis

 

covid19 better equiped

A slight majority (51%) of likely voters thought Donald Trump was better equipped "mentally and physically," than Joe Biden (49%), to handle the coronavirus pandemic. Voters in the south were much more likely to believe Trump was in better shape, physically and mentally, to handle the coronavirus pandemic than Joe Biden, while voters in the Central/Great Lakes and West were more confident in Joe Biden's ability and stamina to handle the current crisis.

A majority of voters aged 30+ felt the president was in better shape mentally and physically to handle the coronavirus pandemic than presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden. In contrast, younger voters aged 18-29 thought the opposite-59% felt Joe Biden was better equipped to handle the pandemic, while 41% thought Donald Trump was in better shape to handle the crisis. Men (Trump 57%, Biden 43%) were more likely than women (Biden 54%, Trump 47%) to think Trump could handle the current crisis better.

86% of Democrats thought Biden was better equipped mentally and physically, while 91% of Republicans thought the president was better equipped to handle the coronavirus pandemic. Independents were nearly split (Trump 49%/Biden 51%), as were voters living in the east (Trump 51%/Biden 49%) and older voters aged 65+ (Trump 51%/Biden 49%).

Important swing voters: weekly Walmart shoppers (Trump 57%/Biden 43%), weekly Amazon shoppers (Trump 60%/Biden 40%), NASCAR fans (Trump 70%/Biden 30%), union members (Trump 58%/Biden 42%), urban men (Trump 55%/Biden 45%), suburban men (Trump 56%/Biden 44%), and rural voters (Trump 64%/Biden 36%) all thought Trump was in better shape and had more acumen to head-off the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the most vulnerable voters, such as those who lost a job recently, also favored Trump (Trump 65%/Biden 35%).

The president also received support from most generational demographics: a majority of Millennials (Trump 52%/Biden 48%), Generation Xers (Trump 53%/Biden 47%) and Baby Boomers (Trump 53%/Biden 47%) favored the president's ability to handle the coronavirus pandemic over Joe Biden's.

However, Biden was not down for the count. The vice president was in better shape than Trump with: the youngest voters-aged 18-24 (Biden 62%/Trump 38%) and aged 18-29 (Biden 59%/Trump 41%), and Generation Z (Biden 63%/Trump 37%). Women (Biden 54%/Trump 47%), a slim majority of Independents (Biden 51%/Trump 49%), suburban voters (Biden 52%/Trump 48%), suburban women (Biden 58%/Trump 43%), urban women (Biden 60%/Trump 40%), African Americans (Biden 72%/Trump 29%) and a slim majority of Hispanics (Biden 52%/Trump 48%) all thought Joe Biden was better equipped than Trump, mentally and physically, to handle the current pandemic.

covid19 handling

We asked likely voters to rate the performance of politicians, government agencies and countries on how each was handling the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) received majority positive ratings (73% and 70%, respectively, excellent and positive combined) from an overwhelming majority of surveyed voters. Governor Andrew Cuomo received the highest rating (63% positive/37% negative) among politicians while Surgeon General Jerome Adams (58% positive/43% negative) and California Governor, Gavin Newsom (55% positive/45% negative) followed closely behind. No other politician surveyed received a majority positive rating from respondents. President Trump received a 49% positive rating (excellent and positive combined) but a slim majority thought his handling of the Covid-19 response has been negative (fair and poor combined). It must also be noted that a plurality (36%) thought Trump's response was "poor."

Dr. Fauci, who has become the face the of the federal government's response to the coronavirus pandemic was rated positively by nearly three quarters of likely voters (35% excellent and 38% positive rating combined). New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is in the eye of the storm, is also getting positive ratings from likely voters for his response to the pandemic - almost two-thirds (30% excellent and 33% positive combined) thought positively of the New York governor's handling of the crisis.

Overall, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)-72% positive and 28% negative-and the World Health Organization (WHO-70% positive/30% negative) received high marks for their efforts to fight the coronavirus. The most skeptical sub-group when it came to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were African American voters- 49% rated their handling of the coronavirus pandemic positively and 51% negatively.

Performance of the U.S. legislative branch-The House of Representatives (43% positive and 57% negative) and The Senate (41% positive and 59% negative) - obtained a middling rating by likely voters. Men (48% positive/53% negative in the Senate and 49% positive/51% negative in the House) rated the handling of the pandemic for the Senate and House of Representatives higher than women (35% positive/65% negative in the Senate and 37% positive/63% negative in the House). In an interesting twist of events, younger voters aged 18-29 (48% positive/52% negative in the Senate and 47% positive/53% negative in the House) also rated the handling of the Coronavirus response by the legislative branch higher than did older voters aged 65+ (37% positive/63% negative in the Senate and 39% positive/61% negative in the House). In contrast, Independents (33% positive/67% negative in the Senate and 35% positive/65% negative in the House) and African Americans (36% positive/64% negative in the Senate and 36% positive/65% negative in the House) were not favorable towards Congress' handling of the coronavirus response in the U.S.

At the moment, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has become the "face" of the Democratic Party's response to the corona virus pandemic. New York is the hardest hit state in the U.S. and has seen the most people die from the virus. Among surveyed respondents, Governor Andrew Cuomo received the highest rating for his handling of the pandemic and did very well across the board with all sub-groups, especially among men (67% positive/33% negative), Democrats (71% positive/29% negative), Independents (61% positive/39% negative), large city voters (69% positive/31% negative), Millennials (63% positive/37% negative), Hispanics (67% positive/33% negative), voters whose household incomes are $150k+ (69% positive/31% negative), voters with college degrees (67% positive/33% negative) and voters living in the East (68% positive/32% negative). Majorities of voters who live in rural areas (58% positive/42% negative), Republicans (58% positive/43% negative) and conservatives (58% positive/42% negative) also rated his handling of the pandemic positively.

Governor Gavin Newsom of California received an overall positive rating-55% (excellent and positive combined) from surveyed voters, and also received positive ratings from younger voters aged 18-29 (57% positive/43% negative), large city voters (64% positive/36% negative), small city voters (58% positive/42% negative), suburban voters (52% positive/48% negative), Democrats (66% positive/34% negative), liberals (69% positive/31% negative), men (60% positive/40% negative), Hispanics (61% positive/40% negative), and African Americans (59% positive/41% negative). However, unlike Cuomo, Newsom did not receive support from important voting blocs, such as, Independents (47% positive/53% negative), rural voters (47% positive/53% negative), suburban women (48% positive/52% negative), and older voters aged 50-64 (47% positive/53% negative).

Voters in the east (52% positive/48% negative) and south (57% positive/43% negative) rated Trump's handling of the crisis positively while voters in the Central/Great Lakes (43% positive/57% negative) and West (41% positive/59% negative) rated his response to the Covid-19 crisis negatively. President Trump did best with Millennials (52% positive/48% negative), voters aged 30-49 (55% positive/45% negative), men (56% positive/44% negative), weekly Walmart shoppers (54% positive/46% negative), weekly Amazon shoppers (57% positive/43% negative), Catholics (54% positive/46% negative), large city voters (50% positive/50% negative), voters whose household incomes are $35-50k (52% positive/48% negative) and $150k+(57% positive/43% negative). A respectable number of Hispanics (56% negative/44% positive) approved of Trump's response to the Covid-19 crisis.

In contrast, women (43% positive/57% negative), younger voters aged 18-29 (41% positive/59% negative), older voters aged 65+ (49% positive/51% negative), Independents (43% positive/57% negative), small city voters (46% positive/55% negative), suburban voters (44% positive/56% negative), and suburban women (41% positive/59% negative) did not think highly of the President's handling of the pandemic.

Both Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders received positive ratings slightly above that of the Congress. Both politicians have been in the media background as of late, as President Trump and Governor Cuomo dominate news coverage and have become the faces of their respective party's response to the virus. Both, too, are elderly and need to avoid the virus so it makes perfect sense why they have drifted out of focus, but this could have also hurt their image in the eyes of voters.

When we ask voters how they rate Senator Sanders' handling of the crisis, only 44% rate his handling positively and a majority (56%) rates his handling of the virus negatively. His numbers are higher with younger voters aged 18-29 (62% positive/38% negative), Hispanics (61% positive/39% negative) and African Americans (51% positive/49% negative), but majorities of suburban voters (38% positive/62% negative), Independents (42% positive/58% negative), women (39% positive/61% negative), and suburban women (34% positive/66% negative) rated his response to the pandemic negatively.

Joe Biden suffered the same fate. Overall, 43% rated his performance positively (excellent and good combined) and 57% rated it negatively (fair and poor combined). Unlike Sanders, he did not receive an overall positive rating from Hispanics (48% positive/52% negative) or younger voters aged 18-29 (50% positive/50% negative). Biden's performance to date has not struck a chord with women (38% positive/62% negative), Independents 38% positive/62% negative), older voters aged 65+ (40% positive/60% negative), suburban voters (43% positive/58% negative), suburban women (41% positive/59% negative), college educated (45% positive/56% negative) and non-college educated voters (42% positive/58% negative), either.

Not surprisingly, China received the worst rating from U.S. voters: less than a third rated their response positively while 69% rated it negatively, including 40% who rated it as "poor." This was consistent among all sub-groups surveyed.

Conclusion

The U.S. Congress just passed a historic stimulus package to stave off the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Will it be enough? Most experts predict this will not be enough to sustain the economic carnage caused by the pandemic, which grinded businesses across the country to a sudden halt. Even if more money is sent directly to the American people, some jobs and businesses won't come back, savings will lost, and the long term psychological damage will be unimaginable.

In the end the buck stops with the President and federal government. From the get go there were issues with testing at the CDC, but the CDC has also been at the forefront of communicating information that citizens need to know to combat the deadly spread of the virus. Voters were very favorable toward the CDC response to the crisis despite their pitfalls: over 70% rated them positively. Voters were also fond of Dr. Fauci from NIAID who received the highest rating of all (73% positive).

When it came to politicians, Governor Andrew Cuomo was perceived most favorably at handling the pandemic. His daily news conferences have become the response to President Trump's briefings and the two have gone toe to toe on a number of occasions. Cuomo is currently winning the confrontations and he has broad appeal-majorities of Republicans and conservatives, nationwide, rate his response to the crisis positively.

The president still has the support of his base, but he needs more cross-over appeal. At this point, nearly half rate his response positively while a majority rates his response to the pandemic negatively. However, his opponents vying for the Democratic nomination are nowhere to be found, and have not impressed when they do come out of hiding. Could Trump benefit from Biden and Sanders' stealth candidacies or will this provide an opportunity for a new front runner to appear, perhaps one with the image of competence, or a man of action? In either scenario Trump will need to work harder to convince the American people he can win this "silent war."

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Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
US Likely Voters
3/24/20 - 3/26/20

Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 889 likely voters in the US.

Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.

Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 36% Democrat, 36% Republican and 28% Independent/unaffiliated.

Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 889 is +/- 3.3 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.

Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.

Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.

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About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.

The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.

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