Poll: The ‘Trump bump’ is over, especially among white Christians

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President Trump’s job approval ratings among some faith groups jumped in March as the number of coronavirus infections began to spread across the country. But that “Trump bump” has all but disappeared.

A new poll released on April 30 from PRRI shows Trump’s approval has fallen on average by 6 percentage points and is now more in keeping with 2019 levels among most demographic groups.

Among white evangelicals, Trump’s favourability ratings fell to 66% from a high of 77% in March. White Catholic approval ratings of the president dropped to 48% from 60%. Perhaps the largest drop was among white mainline Protestants. Only 44% approved of the president in April, down from 62% in March. (Among non-white Protestants, Trump’s favourability ratings did not change). Overall, 43% of Americans hold mostly or very favourable views of Trump (about the same as in February shortly after he was acquitted of impeachment charges).

In mid-March, it was 49%.

“The jump we saw in March was unusually high, particularly for white evangelicals,” said Natalie Jackson, research director at PRRI. “It was one of the highest favorability records we saw for Trump among that group. What we’re seeing in April is a return to where they had been previously.”

Jackson attributed the March bump to a “rally around the flag” effect, as more Americans saw Trump on TV daily responding to the virus as part of the White House briefings.

The poll also found that white Christians in counties less affect-ed by the coronavirus are more likely to view Trump favourably than those in more affected counties (63% vs. 50%).

“There is no such difference among other religious groups,” according to the survey.

Trump’s favourability among white Christians in battleground states — Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — dropped to 48% from 75% in March. Over-all, the president’s approval rating in battleground states dropped from 53% in March to 38% in April.

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