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60% of Republicans See Coronavirus Scare As Tool to Get Trump

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Like most everything else in America today, views of the coronavirus and the government response to it are heavily colored by politics. Democrats are most likely to see the new virus as a threat and to criticize the government’s response. Republicans see an anti-Trump agenda at work.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 46% of all Likely U.S. Voters rate the federal government’s response to the coronavirus as good or excellent. Thirty percent (30%) say it’s doing a poor job. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

By comparison, 40% of Americans gave the government’s response to Ebola good or excellent marks in October 2014 after the first case was diagnosed in this country. Less than three weeks later, that number had fallen to 31%.

But a closer look at the latest findings shows that while 70% of Republicans give the government positive marks for its response to date, just 31% of Democrats and 35% of voters not affiliated with either major party agree.

For 67% of Democrats and 50% of unaffiliated voters, the coronavirus is a major health threat to the United States. But 60% of Republicans believe instead that the media and some politicians are playing up the threat of coronavirus to hurt President Trump.

Among all voters, 49% see the virus as a major health threat to this country, while 35% think the media and some politicians are playing it up to hurt the president. Eleven percent (11%) say neither is the case.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted March 3-4, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Americans are growing more concerned about the coronavirus outbreak, but by a 47% to 35% margin, they also believe that the media tends to make the outbreak of diseases like coronavirus sound worse than they really are.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters agree with the Federal Reserve Board’s decision to cut interest rates in response to the potential economic threat of the coronavirus. Only 24% disagree with the Fed’s action, but slightly more (27%) are undecided about it.

Republicans (59%) are more supportive of the interest rate cut than Democrats (44%) and unaffiliateds (43%) are.

The older the voter, the more positive they are about the federal government’s response to the coronavirus and the more likely they are to suspect there’s an anti-Trump agenda at work.

Just 23% of those who consider the coronavirus a major health threat to the country rate the government’s response so far as good or excellent. Among those who think the threat is being played up for political reasons, 79% give the government positive marks for its actions.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of all Americans correctly predicted in late January that the coronavirus would spread to the United States, but an identical 72% also felt that the U.S. public health system will be able to handle the problem here.

Fifty-five percent (55%) said last fall that they intended to get the flu shot, consistent with surveying for the past several years.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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