A Majority of Pennsylvanians Trust Wolf Over Trump to Lead on Reopening Economy

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By Cassandra Stone

April 23, 2020

According to a recent poll, 62% approve of the way Gov. Wolf is managing one of the biggest crises of our lifetime.

When it comes to making decisions about reopening the economy during the coronavirus pandemic, Pennsylvania voters trust Gov. Wolf a lot more than they trust the president, according to a recent poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP).

According to its results, 62% of Pennsylvanians approve of the way Gov. Wolf is managing one of the biggest crises of our lifetime. In contrast only 46% said they agreed with the way President Trump was is handling the pandemic.

PPP also surveyed voters in three other battleground states: North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and found similar results. Overwhelmingly, voters said they trusted their Democratic governors more on when to reopen their states than they did Trump. A vast majority, including Trump supporters, also said they believe social distancing measures should remain in place.

According to the polls, each governor has a net approval rating that is significantly higher than Trump’s. While the president registered a 45% approval rating, the four governors together boasted an average of 58%.

Considering these results, it’s not surprising that Wolf has repeatedly clashed with the president on matters pertaining to the coronavirus crisis. Last week, as Trump urged states to come up with a plan for reopening, Gov. Wolf reminded Pennsylvanians that social distancing-related closures were put in place for the benefit of the healthcare system. 

RELATED: Pennsylvania and Five Other States Will Work Together to Reopen Regional Economy

“I think we ought to stay the course right now,” he said. “This is hard, it is devastating the economy, no question. But letting this virus overwhelm the healthcare system and the ability of Pennsylvania to resist it would be even worse for the economy.”

Wolf also gently disagreed with Trump’s claim that it was up to the president to decide when the economy could reopen. “Seeing as how we had the responsibility for closing the state down, I think we probably have the primary responsibility for opening it up,” the governor said. 

Additionally, Wolf called the president’s insistence that the NFL season would continue as scheduled later this year unrealistic. “I think it’s too early to call what happens in the fall,” he said.

Joining with other Democratic governors last week, Wolf wrote to the president, urging him to grant $500 billion in federal aid for states fighting the spread of the coronavirus. The governor’s office has projected a budget deficit of up to $5 billion.

RELATED: Wolf Warns the State Deficit Could Be as High as $5 Billion Due to Pandemic

The PPP poll surveyed more than 1,200 voters in each state on behalf of Protect Our Care, a group devoted to defending the Affordable Care Act.

“What I think we’ve seen is that President Trump can’t bullshit his way through this pandemic. You have to show genuine competency, genuine leadership and genuine empathy,” Brad Woodhouse, the executive director of Protect Our Care, told The Hill.

“We’ve focused on the battleground presidential states to make both the policy point about the performance in these states but also the political point that the president might think he’s doing the right thing for his base by attacking these governors, by early on denying them supplies, but all he’s doing is complicating an already tough political situation for himself.”




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