Anthony Fauci's coronavirus approval rating in Florida is almost double Trump's, according to a new poll

Trump and Fauci March 20

Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump listens to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at a White House briefing on March 20

  • President Donald Trump's approval rating when it comes to his coronavirus response is underwater in Florida, a key swing state that's being hit hard by the pandemic.
  • Meanwhile, 85% of registered Florida voters approve of infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci's response effort, according to a poll published by the University of North Florida on Monday.
  • 58% of Florida voters said they don't trust the president to provide reliable information about the pandemic, while 53% disapprove of his handling of the crisis.
  • Floridians also preferred former Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner, in a general election against Trump by 6 points.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump's coronavirus response isn't going over well in Florida, according to a new poll of registered voters published by the University of North Florida on Monday.

While 45% of Florida voters said they approve of Trump's response to the pandemic and 53% disapprove, 85% of these voters approve of infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci's response effort. In contrast to Trump, Fauci, who's helping lead the federal government's handling of the coronavirus, has urged stricter social distancing guidelines and a more skeptical approach to potential drugs to treat the virus. Advertisement

Meanwhile, just 41% of Florida voters said they trust the president to provide reliable information about the pandemic, while 58% said they don't trust him. More than double - 86% - said they trust Fauci a great deal or a fair amount.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner, also beat Trump in the Florida poll. While 40% of respondents said they vote for Trump in a general election against Biden, 46% said they would vote for the former veep.

Michael Binder, director of the UNF public opinion research lab that conducted the survey, noted that that Biden's lead is among registered voters, rather than likely voters, which is a narrower and more accurate pool of respondents.
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"I would exercise caution when looking at these numbers, first these are registered voters - not likely voters; second, the campaign season has screeched to a grinding halt and people are rightly less focused on politics," Binder said in the report. "Although, this same sample of voters when asked who they voted for in 2016, indicated a very slight advantage for Trump, suggesting that something may be changing in Florida ahead of the election."

The poll found Floridians have more trust in their Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, who refused to issue a statewide stay home order until last Wednesday following weeks of increasing pressure.While 41% said they don't trust the governor to provide reliable information, 55% said they do. At the same time, just 51% approve of DeSantis' handling of the crisis, while 46% disapprove. Advertisement

Florida has become a high-profile hotspot of the outbreak in the US as DeSantis has looked to the White House for guidance on whether to issue a statewide order. The governor repeatedly rejected calls to shut his state down, citing a lack of widespread infection across the state and arguing that many people simply wouldn't heed the order.

The UNF poll surveyed 3,244 registered Florida voters between March 31 and April 4 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.7 percentage points.

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