Public health officials almost universally agree that the best way to keep coronavirus deaths to a minimum is for Americans to stay at home as much as possible. Yet President Donald Trump keeps wanting to reopen the economy as he tries to weigh economic health and public health.

A look at the polling data reveals, however, why he may want to err on the side of keeping folks at home. Normally, presidential elections depend a lot on the state of the economy. Trump has to be seeing the economy shedding jobs and has to know the economy has historically been linked to a president’s re-election hopes. I, myself, made the connection just last week.

And indeed, the percentage of voters who think the economy is getting worse skyrocketed to 60% in the latest Quinnipiac University poll. That’s up from 28% at the beginning of March. When this many voters think the economy is getting worse historically, incumbents almost always lose.

The same poll, however, found that Trump’s approval rating on the economy is 51%. This is no different than the average of Quinnipiac polls taken since May 2019. Voters, it seems, are not for the moment blaming Trump for any economic downturn.

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