Reuters/Ipsos Core Political: Presidential Approval Tracker (07/08/2020)

Americans’ pessimism about the direction of the country remains high; Trump’s approval on coronavirus hits new low

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, July 8, 2020 –  The latest Reuters/Ipsos’ Core Political survey shows that many Americans are unhappy with the direction of the country. Americans are also divided on the main issue facing the United States. Fewer than two in five Americans approve of President Trump’s overall job performance. As coronavirus cases surge around the country, President Trump’s approval rating on coronavirus has fallen to its lowest level. Looking toward the general election, former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead President Trump among registered voters if the election were held today, although the race has narrowed in the last four weeks.

Two-thirds of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction (67%), consistent with the last several weeks, and one of the highest numbers recorded of the Trump administration.

  • Republican registered voters are split on the direction of the country, with 44% reporting that the country is headed in the right direction and 44% saying the country is off on the wrong track.
  • More than eight in ten Democratic registered voters say the nation is off on the wrong track (84%), compared to just 8% who say things are headed in the right direction.


When considering President Trump’s overall job performance, just 38% of Americans approve of his handling of the presidency and just 37% approve of his handling of coronavirus.

  • Looking at Trump’s performance on coronavirus, a majority of Americans disapprove of how Trump has handled the crisis so far (57%), and only 37% approve, which is the lowest number since Reuters/Ipsos began tracking in early March of this year.
  • Republican registered voters are committed to Trump, with 81% approving of his overall job performance, and 52% of all Republican registered voters saying they strongly approve.
  • Democratic registered voters are extremely critical of Trump, with 90% disapproving of his overall job performance, and 78% of all Democratic registered voters saying they strongly disapprove.



President Trump (34%) continues to lag behind former Vice President Joe Biden (40%) when Americans are asked who they would vote for if the upcoming presidential election were held today.

  • Biden (43%) also leads Trump (37%) among registered voters, although the gap has narrowed over the last 4 weeks.
  • The major parties overwhelmingly support their respective candidates; Republican registered voters support Trump (80%), and Democratic registered voters support Biden (80%).


Americans are split on the most important issue facing the country: 26% say the economy and jobs are the most important problem, 20% cite other issues, and 16% report healthcare as the main concern.

  • Democratic and Republican registered voters are both concerned with the economy and jobs (26% and 28%, respectively).
  • Democratic registered voters are more likely to cite other issues (24%) than Republican registered voters (14%). Democratic registered voters volunteer systemic racism, the current administration, and coronavirus as the main issues, while Republican registered voters cite rioting/anarchy, liberal policies/politicians, and coronavirus as their main concerns.
  • Morality is a top concern for Republican registered voters (15%), while healthcare is only a concern for 11%. These proportions are reversed for Democratic registered voters, where 18% are concerned with healthcare and 10% are concerned with morality.


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between July 6-7, 2020 on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For this survey, a sample of 1,114 Americans age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The sample includes 952 registered voters, 422 Democratic registered voters, 401 Republican registered voters, and 92 independent registered voters. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Americans been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. The poll also has a credibility interval of ± 3.6 percentage points for all registered voters, ± 5.4 percentage points for Democratic registered voters, ± 5.6 percentage points for Republican registered voters, and ± 11.6 percentage points for independent registered voters. 

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations, US
Public Affairs
+1 718 755-8829
[email protected]

About Ipsos

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The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs