Republican officials from President Trump on down say they’ll deliver an “uplifting and positive” message at their convention this week. Take that forecast with a heaping dose of salt – you can expect plenty of negative attacks this week; Trump made several in remarks to the convention Monday after formally securing the GOP nomination.
“What they’re doing is using COVID to steal an election,” Trump said of Democrats. “They’re using COVID to defraud the American people — all of our people — of a fair and free election.”
The problem for Republicans, as NBC News’s Shannon Pettypiece notes, is that “selling a success story to an electorate where the vast majority believe the country on the wrong track may be a heavy lift.”
A new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research highlights the challenge. Overall, the poll finds, just 31% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, while 68% disapprove. (After failing to deliver another coronavirus relief package this month, Congress fares even worse, as just 13% approve of how “leaders in Congress” are handling the pandemic, while 65% disapprove, up 7 percentage points from July.)
Even among Republicans, approval of how the federal government is handling the virus is at just 43%, high only in comparison to the 10% approval among Democrats.
Growing majorities of Americans now say that the government isn’t doing enough to help individuals, small businesses or public schools. And just 23% think the country is heading in the right direction, compared to 75% who say it’s on the wrong path.
The poll of 1,075 adults was conducted August 17 to 19. It has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.