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Trump's marks for handling COVID-19 outbreak decline — CBS News poll

CBS News logo CBS News 5/14/2020 Kabir Khanna

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Americans continue to say they trust medical professionals for virus information, but Republicans also rank President Trump about as highly among their trusted sources, even as others give him his lowest marks to date for handling the outbreak.

And Dr. Anthony Fauci is trusted by most and viewed favorably by a three-to-one margin, but he now draws split opinions among Republicans, driven by increasingly negative views from conservatives.

Views of President Trump's handling of the outbreak continue to drop from March and are now the lowest he has received. Today, 43% say he's doing a good job, 5 points lower than three weeks ago and 10 points lower than in March.

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This decline has most recently been driven by political independents, among whom a four-in-10 plurality now say Trump is doing a "very" bad job, as compared to a "somewhat" bad job, and that description has increased from a few weeks ago. 

Governors generally receive much more positive marks than the president does, and assessments of the president are more partisan than those of governors. 

Two-thirds of people say their state's governor is doing a good job handling the outbreak, including similarly sized majorities of Democrats and Republicans.

Most Americans say they don't trust President Trump to provide accurate information about the coronavirus or what to do during the outbreak. Vice President Pence receives similar numbers.

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Partisanship is largely the determining factor: More than eight in 10 Republicans say they trust the president (and vice president) while about nine in 10 Democrats, as well as two-thirds of independents, distrust them.

In contrast, six in 10 Americans say they trust their state's governor, a view that cuts across party affiliation.

Medical and health professionals continue to be the most trusted source: 84% say they trust this group for accurate information, including large majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. The national media rates lower, at 39%, trusted by most Democrats but few Republicans.

President Trump elicits more polarized descriptions of his job performance than people offer for assessments of the outbreak response overall. Most describe the job Trump is doing as either "very" good or "very" bad, whereas descriptions of U.S. efforts against the outbreak tend to be qualified as going "somewhat" well or "somewhat" badly.

This CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,000 U.S. residents interviewed between May 11-13, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 presidential vote and registration status. The margin of error is +/- 2.7 points.

Poll toplines / Poll toplines - 2nd set

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