If you’re like anyone who doesn’t care much for Donald Trump, you might be in despair over how his approval rating seems to be surging, even while hardly a day goes by where Trump doesn’t prove to be a malevolent buffoon who either doesn’t seem to grasp that he’s killing more American citizens by the day, or that he doesn’t have any qualms about doing it. A popular reason attributed to his rising approval ratings is a “rally round the flag effect” – that in a time of crisis, people are more likely to be supportive of their leader, or at least to hope for the best, even though Trump has gone from inaction to what seems like sabotage.
Palmer Report stated previously that presidents besides Donald Trump managed to score a few extra points when the country fell into a time of crisis on their watch – and usually polled better than Trump, but they also would take a bit more initiative in actually leading the country through dark times – or reassuring people that they were capable of leading. These are two things that Trump has been an abject failure at.
Not only was the approval rating bump not that big, it was also fairly temporary. As the United States now leads the rest of the world in new cases of COVID-19, the drop in Trump’s approval rating is pretty visible. In just a week, according to a new poll by Navigator Research, Trump’s approval rating plummeted by 13 points – with more Americans disapproving of how he’s handling the crisis. The same poll also showed nearly universal support for social distancing measures and only 5% approving of Trump’s plan to restart the economy early. Both Democrats and Republicans largely support social distancing for however long it takes, and as the crisis worsens, Trump’s approval rating is likely to only get even worse.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making