A new poll shows that most Americans think that President Trump has handled Hurricane Harvey well, much to the dismay of the media wailing that the President was not empathetic enough.
The survey, conducted by Economist/YouGov, found that 55% of Americans somewhat or strongly approve of how Trump has handled Harvey, while only 29% somewhat or strongly disapproved. The numbers are a stark improvement from the previous week, where only 39% of Americans somewhat or strongly approved of Trump’s handling of Harvey and 24% somewhat or strongly disapproved of it.
In an even bigger blow to the media, most Americans felt that Trump has been empathetic toward the victims of Hurricane Harvey, as 64% felt he showed a lot or some empathy toward them. Only 36% felt that Trump showed little to no empathy.
The President’s approval rating is still negative overall, as his ratings are 52% negative and 41% positive in Economist/YouGov, but the 41% figure is Trump’s highest approval rating since May.
The federal government as a whole was given positive marks by the public over its response to Hurricane Harvey, as 48% stated that the government’s response was adequate while 34% said it could have done better. Additionally, 49% stated that the government’s response time was as quick as possible, while 32% felt that it could have been quicker.
“The public response is not just a partisan one — more than a third of Democrats praise the government’s reaction,” Kathy Frankovic wrote in YouGov. “These are very different responses from those recorded in CBS News polls conducted in 2005 shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Three in four then thought the government could have done a better job in the days following the storm, and 80% thought it could have responded faster.”
A Politico/Morning Consult poll had more even numbers on Trump’s handling on Harvey, as 43% approved of it while 40% did not.
Overall, the public does seem to approve of Trump’s handling of Harvey because he has objectively done a good job on this issue. As Ben Shapiro has previously explained:
President Trump has made virtually all of the right moves on Hurricane Harvey. He made obvious to both Governor Greg Abbott of Texas and the local authorities that the federal government stood ready with all of its resources to aid efforts on the ground. He made clear to the public that he was attentively following developments, and that his administration was on top of the problem. He visited Texas — a political move now mandated by the overwrought media — to visit victims on the ground.
Shapiro noted that the media was resorted to whining that Trump wasn’t being empathetic enough, which was a lame criticism.
“Victims in Texas don’t need Trump’s tears — they need his commitment to helping them within the bounds of the law,” wrote Shapiro. “Empathetic people often make the worst legislators; they focus on the most discrete beneficiaries of policy, rather than the diffuse victims of it. Empathy doesn’t necessarily help you make good decisions.”
The Economist/YouGov poll shows that the people didn’t fall for the media’s narrative.