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Poll Shows Two-Thirds Disapprove Trump’s Handling of Coronavirus and Race Issues

Record high COVID numbers and threats to use the military against protesters likely soured Americans’ views of Trump.

President Trump gives a thumbs-up as he leaves a meeting in the East Room at the White House, July 7, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

Two-thirds of the American people say that President Donald Trump is doing a poor job handling both the coronavirus pandemic as well as race relations in the United States.

Findings from an ABC News/Ipsos poll released on Friday demonstrated only 33 percent of Americans say Trump is handling the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. in a positive way. But 67 percent of Americans say they disapprove of how he’s handling the issue.

The new numbers are both his lowest approval and highest disapproval ratings recorded by the ABC News/Ipsos poll since the pandemic reached the country.

The president appears to be losing support from his base on the issue as well. While Trump still polls high with members of his own political party — 78 percent of Republican respondents said he was doing a good job with coronavirus — the numbers from the poll, conducted this earlier week, demonstrate the lowest approval rating he’s received from Republican voters since polling began on the topic.

The dismal numbers on his handling of coronavirus come as the United States set a record for the highest single-day report of new cases of the disease on Thursday, when 63,247 positive tests were reported across the country. It’s the second time this week that the record was broken, a sign that the reopening of states’ economies likely caused the virus to spread.

Indeed, nearly three-in-five Americans (59 percent) believe the country is moving too fast on easing social distancing rules, while 26 percent say things are going at the right pace, and 15 percent say things should move faster.

The ABC News/Ipsos poll also asked respondents for their views on how Trump has handled issues related to race during his presidency. Notably, Trump has engaged in racist rhetoric and bigoted attacks on others throughout his tenure, but with uprisings happening in cities across the country in response to the police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and many other Black Americans, the president has responded by issuing threats of using the military against its own citizens to quell protests.

According to the poll, only 32 percent of Americans think Trump is doing well on the issue of race relations in the country, while more than two-thirds (67 percent) say they disapprove of the job he’s done.

Respondents were also asked to describe how they felt about the Confederate battle flag. Just five percent of Americans, according to the poll, say they have a positive reaction when they see the emblem, while 43 percent say they feel negatively when they view it. However, 52 percent said they have neither negative nor positive feelings toward the flag.

Among Black respondents, 76 percent said they have a negative reaction to the flag, while 58 percent of whites said they were neutral about it.

While the flag may not draw widespread condemnation from Americans yet, a separate poll from Quinnipiac University released in mid-June found support from 52 percent of Americans in favor of removing statues and monuments honoring soldiers and other leaders from the Confederacy.

Trump has voiced strong opposition to removing any symbol or monument honoring Confederate leaders, and has embraced support of the battle flag remaining in places where some have tried to limit its prominence.

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