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TRUMP VS THE COVID-19 VIRUS: DOES IT HURT OR HELP HIS U.S. JOB APPROVAL NUMBERS? UPDATE POST

About 10 days ago I posted an article on whether the Coronavirus could effect his job approval ratings ( Coronavirus vs. Donald Trump: Will it Help or Hurt His Reelection? ). The early conclusion was that it neither hurt nor helped his public popularity. I now have another ten days of data to see if there is a relationship between the growing number of new cases and his job approval rating.

Important Note: The job approval ratings are from surveys of likely voters and/or registered voters and not of all residents 18 and older. Many public polling firms use samples of all residents when reporting job approval ratings, mainly for comparison purposes with previous results. The data I use here is derived from the 538 website (https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/ ). If more than one firm reports on the same day, I average them for that day. Because the respondents I use are likely or at least registered voters, there will be some differences between other public polls. As an old commercial pollster, I have universally relied on likely voters when it comes to predicting political outcomes.

Red line = new covid-19 virus cases; blue line Trump job approval.

The ragged blue line reflects his job approval rating over the last 27 days. His lowest rating was 42% and his high was 47.5%, with an average rating of 44% during this period. As the red line moves upward, his approval ratings appears to trend upward in an up and down fashion as the number of new cases increases.

The correlation between the new virus cases and the approval rating is .466 and is significant at the <.002 level. In other words, there is some relationship between the two variables, although not a strong one. This is good news for the Trump campaign, but this trend could be temporary or more a “rally around the flag” reaction that often happens when a sudden crisis occurs and people react to it by standing by the president.

I will keep updating this chart so we’ll see if this a statistical aberration or a real trend.

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