As Trump Faces Low Coronavirus Approval in Swing States, Many Republicans, Independents Doubt U.S. Is Prepared for Second Wave

A large number of Republican and independent voters believe the U.S. is not prepared to handle the economic and public health impacts of a second wave of coronavirus infections, a new poll shows.

The survey published by Morning Consult on Monday found that pluralities of independents felt the U.S. was not ready to deal with another spike in COVID-19 cases.

Forty-six percent told pollsters they didn't think the U.S. was prepared to weather the economic shocks of a second wave, compared to 27 percent who believed the country was ready.

A similar plurality (43 percent) said the U.S. was not ready for the public health strains another spike in cases would cause, while a third told Morning Consult that the country was prepared to handle those impacts.

Around a quarter of independents said they didn't know where they came down on either question, or had no opinion.

President Donald Trump Coronavirus Testing Graph
President Donald Trump holds up a chart showing the rates of COVID-19 testing around the world in the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 6, 2020. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Republican voters took a more optimistic outlook on America's chances of coping with a second wave of novel coronavirus infections. More than six in ten (61 percent) said the U.S. was prepared for the public health impacts, while a 50 percent plurality felt the country was ready for the economic shock.

However, a sizeable minority of Republicans were far less sure of the U.S.' preparedness for another spike in COVID-19 cases.

A little under a third (31 percent) said they didn't think America was ready for the economic impacts, while 22 percent doubted the U.S. was prepared for the public health implications.

Almost a fifth of GOP voters said they didn't know whether the U.S. was prepared, or had no opinion on the matter.

By comparison, clear majorities of Democrats told pollsters they did not think the U.S. was ready for either the economic or public health consequences of a second wave.

Sixty-two percent said America was not prepared for the economic hit, while 20 percent said the reverse. A further 57 percent of Democrats doubted the U.S. was ready to handle the public health difficulties, with 24 percent believing the country was prepared on that front.

Morning Consult conducted its latest poll between May 12 and May 15, surveying more than 1,900 voters. Its margin of error stands at 2 percentage points.

The fresh survey data was released as several swing state polls showed local voters were unhappy with the president's response to the pandemic.

Survey data from Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin showed that most voters in the key 2020 battleground states disapproved of the commander-in-chief's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

The polls also found that many locals were seriously concerned about the pandemic and felt it was the most pressing issue facing their communities.

According to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker, the U.S. has so far recorded more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of the illness.

As coronavirus shutdowns protecting public health have damaged the economy, the U.S. has also reported a huge number of pandemic-related job losses and GDP contraction in the first quarter of this year.