President given low marks for making coronavirus testing more accessible

A majority of Wisconsin voters surveyed say President Trump has not made progress in preparing the country to reopen through improved testing for the coronavirus.

The survey of 1,415 Wisconsn residents, done by Public Policy Polling and released Thursday, also shows public support for current social distancing measures, opposition to those protesting the limits on businesses and gatherings, and a higher priority placed on the health of loved ones than on racing to reopen the economy.

When asked whether they “think President Trump is doing enough to ensure that the U.S. has what is needed to test people for the coronavirus to help track and control its spread,” 38 said he is and 51 percent said he is not doing enough. While there was a partisan split among those who answered the question, self-described independent voters also said Trump is not doing enough by a margin of 52 to 37 percent.

The respondent pool was made up of a group that voted slightly in favor of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, 47-45 percent with the remainder saying they voted for someone else or did not vote. In a head to head matchup, respondents favor presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden over Trump, 50-45. The survey’s margin of error is just under 3 percent.

Wisconsin was one of four states surveyed by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Protect Our Care, a group working to defend the Affordable Care Act. Its executive director Brad Woodhouse said the results show a lack of credibility by Trump as the crisis worsens.

“The more President Trump downplays the threat of coronavirus, lies about his administration’s response and vilifies state officials for trying to keep their citizens safe, the lower his approval will continue to fall in states he needs to win come November,” Woodhouse said. 

Among those who voted for Trump in 2016, 8 percent said they currently support presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Of those who voted for Clinton, 3 percent say they support Trump for re-election. 

By gender, Biden leads among women, 57-39 percent. Among men, Trump is favored by 53 percent versus 43 for Biden. 

Trump, whose overall favorability rating in the survey is 45 percent, is below 50 percent approval with all age groups except ages 46-65 where he has a 51 percent approval rating. Broken down geographically by media markets, Trump is viewed most favorably around Wausau and Green Bay. He is below or well below 50 percent approval throughout the La Crosse-Eau Claire and Madison markets.

On the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and resulting quarantine safeguards, only 38 percent said their primary concern was the economic impact on their families while 52 percent said their larger concern is that they or someone in their family could contract the virus. When asked how concerned they are about coronavirus overall, only 14 percent said they were “not that concerned;” the rest were somewhat or very concerned.