WASHINGTON — Two months since the coronavirus turned into a full-blown crisis, it’s not just that President Trump’s brief poll bump is gone.
It’s that his numbers have started to drop into danger territory for a president facing re-election, according to a pair of new political surveys released in the last 24 hours.
A Fox News poll shows Trump’s overall approval rating now at 44 percent — down from 49 percent in April and 48 percent in March.
The same poll finds him trailing apparent Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by 8 points nationally (the survey’s horserace was tied in April), and it shows the public’s approval of his handling of the coronavirus at 43 percent — a decline from 51 percent in March and April.
By comparison, the Fox News poll has Dr. Anthony Fauci’s coronavirus handling at 74 percent, respondents’ state governments at 70 percent and Vice President Mike Pence at 47 percent.
And a new ABC News/Ispos poll out this morning shows that just 39 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus — the lowest percentage for the president since the poll began tracking it in March.
What happened in 2016 has given pause to so many political observers. Our friend Harry Enten has written how Trump broke the polls: “Trump's surprising 2016 victory has warped people into believing that Trump has some magic up his sleeve. They don't believe he will lose.”
But what is clear is that Trump is trailing Biden right now by a larger margin than he trailed Hillary Clinton in 2016; that his approval rating is worse than the last Dem and GOP presidents to win re-election; and that Americans have increasingly soured on his handling of the coronavirus.
None of this means Trump is going to lose. We have another five months to go until Election Day.
But he’s the underdog right now.
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Data Download: The numbers you need to know today
1,591,988: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 26,711 more than yesterday morning.)
95,502: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far. (That’s 1,419 more than yesterday morning).
13.06 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers at The COVID Tracking Project.
Eight: The number of Amazon warehouse workers who have died from COVID-19 so far.
A third: How much of his sentence Trump associate Michael Cohen had served before being sent to home confinement because of the coronavirus.
Nine percentage points: Joe Biden’s advantage over Trump when voters in a new Fox News poll were asked which leader they trusted more to handle coronavirus
Three percentage points: Trump’s advantage over Biden when voters in the same poll were asked which leader they trusted more to handle the economy
2020 Vision: Biden’s VP shortlist takes shape
In the last 24 hours, CBS reported that the Biden campaign has asked Amy Klobuchar to undergo a formal VP vetting process.
Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., told a SiriusXM host that she’s on the Biden shortlist.
And Sen. Jeanne Shaheen declined a request to be vetted, per NBC News.
But the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty reminds us that being vetted doesn’t mean you’re going to be VP.
Far from it.
“As Twitter freaks out over names on Biden's list to be vetted, here's a reminder of how the process works. Back in 2008, Obama vetted ... Chet Edwards. I wrote this story about what it was like: Chet Edwards: The Veep Who Wasn't http://ti.me/SHCQv9”
Congress is now out until June
The Senate on Thursday failed to pass a legislative fix to the Paycheck Protection Program by unanimous consent. And since the Senate has now adjourned, there’s now likely to be no action on the bill until June, per NBC’s Capitol Hill team.
The bipartisan bill, which was introduced by Sens. Marco Rubio, Susan Collins, Ben Cardin and Jeanne Shaheen would have extended the deadline to apply for a PPP loan from June 30 to Dec. 31; allowed borrowers 16 weeks to use their loan funds instead of eight weeks; and permitted borrowers to use loan funds to push personal protective equipment for employees.
The bill will likely now need a roll call vote if senators can’t come to unanimous consent once they are back in session.
The bottom line: The Senate won’t be doing further business on coronavirus relief legislation until June.
Don’t miss the pod from yesterday, when we looked at new polling about when Americans think their lives will be back to “normal.”
ICYMI: What else is happening in the world
Joe Biden has mostly stayed out of the battle over coronavirus relief funding.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan will seek “legal recourse” over the failure of a dam that forced thousands of evacuations.
An outside group is up with an ad calling congressional candidate Valerie Plame a white supremacist. Here’s the backstory.
The New York Times has yet another story on how Mike Pompeo has leveraged his official job to fuel his political ambitions.
The California Republican Party is pulling its endorsement of a GOP House candidate over past offensive social media posts.
It’s sure starting to look like Martha McSally is in trouble in Arizona.
A conservative group is launching digital ads urging Americans to “reopen America now.”
Defense lawyers are questioning Tara Reade’s testimony as an expert witness in domestic violence cases.