Nolte: Trump’s Health Crisis Approval Ratings Top Obama’s

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Polls show that more Americans approve of President Trump’s handling of this health crisis than approved of the job Barack Obama did during the various health crises that hit during his two failed presidential terms.

People also have more faith in the overall job the federal government is doing during this health crisis than they had with Obama in charge of the frightening Ebola outbreak of 2014.

According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Friday, 51 percent of adults approve of the job Trump is doing handling the coronavirus, compared to 45 percent disapproving. When the poll screened for registered votes, Trump sat at 52 percent vs. 45 percent.

During the Ebola outbreak of 2014, this same poll asked respondents if they approved of the job then-President Obama did: only 49 percent approved, while 43 percent disapproved.

On the question of “how confident are you that the federal government will be able to handle the outbreak of the coronavirus in this country,” 66 percent are “very” or “somewhat” confident, while only 32 percent said they are “not so” or “not at all” confident.

When asked this same question about Obama’s federal government response to the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak, 63 percent said they were confident, while 36 percent said they were not.

Obama’s federal government did fare better during the Zika outbreak in 2016 (69 percent vs. 29 percent) and the 2009 Swine Flu (69 percent vs. 31 percent).

The Bird Flu outbreak that occurred under the George W. Bush administration in 2006 scored lower than the Trump government on the question of confidence in the government: 59 percent vs. 40 percent.

In this same poll, Trump’s overall job approval rating sits at a very healthy 48 percent approval, 46 percent disapproval; the first time in this poll his approval number has been higher than his disapproval number.

When this poll was taken a month ago, on February 17, Trump was underwater by ten points, 43 percent approval, 53 percent disapproval — so that is a 12-point swing in his favor in just a month.

The Washington Post poll also asked if respondents believed Trump was too slow in taking action to address the coronavirus, and by a 20-point margin people said he was: 58 to 38 percent.

This is not the first poll to show that more Americans are confident in Trump’s leadership than Obama’s.

A Gallup poll from February 20 showed that 77 percent are very or somewhat confident in the federal government’s ability to handle the coronavirus, with just 22 percent saying they are less confident.

Gallup did similar polls during health crises reaching back to the Bird Flu in 2005, here’s the confident/not confident breakdown:

  • Zika Virus of 2016. Poll taken in 2017: 64 to 33 percent.
  • Ebola Virus of 2014: 58 to 33 percent.
  • H1N1/Swine Flu of 2009: 67 to 32 percent
  • Bird Flu of 2005: 54 to 45 percent

Overall, the Washington Post numbers are directly in line with what we are seeing from other pollsters.

In the RealClearPolitics poll of polls, Trump’s average job approval rating sits at 47.3 percent, the best of his presidency.

The average approval of the job he’s doing handling the coronavirus sits at 50.6 percent, with only 45 percent disapproving.

We have a long way to go. No one should spike the political football yet. But these numbers are instructive, especially when you realize the advantages Obama had and the disadvantages faced by Trump — namely, billions of corporate political dollars by way of the establishment media.

The corporate media put all its energies into protecting Obama from criticism and covering up his errors, while this same fake news media is trying to bury Trump.

It’s worth repeating, though, that the public is overwhelmingly pleased with the way everyone is responding to this crisis … except for the media.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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