Apr 15, 2022 - Health

Pandemic polls poorly for politicians

A nurse administers a PCR COVID test.
Photo: Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Public unhappiness with the pandemic response is nearly universal and is taking a toll on approval ratings of every state's governor as well as the president, according to a new report from the COVID States Project.

Why it matters: It's a startling fall from grace for governors compared to early in the pandemic, when 38 of them registered approval ratings higher than 60%.

By the numbers: Republican voter approval is at an all-time low, at 44% for Republican governors and 19% for Democratic governors.

  • Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is a notable exception at 64%, and has maintained steady GOP support throughout the pandemic.
  • Five Republican governors — Massachusetts' Charlie Baker, Maryland's Larry Hogan, Ohio's Mike DeWine, Vermont's Phil Scott and New Hampshire's Chris Sununu — are now considerably more popular with Democrats than their own party.

Other findings: Democratic voters' approval of Democratic governors fell throughout the spring of 2020, bounced back, and reached a peak in June 2021.

  • It has gradually declined since, according to the report.

Biden's burden: President Biden had approval levels above those of former President Trump, peaking in the spring of 2021 and declining steadily since then. The drop-off has been faster than for the governors, reaching its lowest point this month, one point below the average governor at 38%.

  • This was the latest in a series of COVID States Project surveys since April 2020 and queried 22,234 people between March 2 and April 4.
Go deeper