WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s overall job approval rating and voters’ assessments of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic have remained stable this summer, according to data from the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll, despite a spike in the number of virus cases and a rising death toll.
Ahead of the Republican National Convention, which began Monday, it’s good news for the president that his base of supporters shows no signs of leaving him.
Among American adults, Trump has averaged a 44 percent job approval rating in the tracking poll from those who either “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of his overall job performance. Approval for his handling of the coronavirus is similar, at 43 percent.
In the newest available data, 45 percent of American adults strongly or somewhat approve of the president’s job performance, while 54 percent somewhat or strongly disapprove. Forty-four percent of adults strongly or somewhat approve of his handling of the pandemic, while 54 somewhat or strongly disapprove.
However, the president’s approval ratings have consistently been lower than those of governors across the country. This week’s data show that 56 percent of adults strongly or somewhat approve of their governors’ handling of the pandemic. Forty-one percent of adults somewhat or strongly disapprove.
Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics
The president’s and the governors’ approval ratings aren’t the only things that have remained unchanged since the beginning of July. In each week of the NBC|SurveyMonkey poll, a majority of adults have said they view the coronavirus outbreak as more of a health crisis than an economic crisis, have been “very” or “somewhat” worried that they or a member of their family will be exposed to the coronavirus, and are more concerned that businesses are reopening too quickly rather than too slowly.
Since Memorial Day, Trump frequently said it was time to reopen the country and return to normal. He attacked governors who called for continued stay-at-home orders and wavered on whether masks were necessary or effective.
However a spike in the numbers of cases in Sunbelt states like Florida and Texas led to a change in tone. In July, the president endorsed wearing masks after months of having equivocated.
The U.S. is nearing 180,000 coronavirus deaths.
The NBC|SurveyMonkey poll tracks with other polling that shows the president’s base of support staying consistent. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed the president with a 44 percent job approval rating — the July NBC News/WSJ poll showed the president with 42 percent job approval, and the NBC News/WSJ poll from the end of May into the beginning of June showed the president with 45 percent approval. All three polls surveyed registered voters.
The pandemic will likely be a central point of the Republican National Convention. In remarks to delegates Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump previewed one of the convention’s messages: Remember what things were like before the coronavirus.
“We were going in a direction like we had never seen — the most successful economy in the history of our country,” Trump said.
He later added, “Hopefully, we’ll call it the final phase of the pandemic.”
The data come from a set of SurveyMonkey online polls conducted Aug. 17-23, 2020, among a national sample of 42,315 adults in the U.S. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1.0 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States ages 18 and over.
Video: Baber: It’s critical for DNC to engage poor, low income voters (MSNBC)