Americans split over whether they trust Trump or Biden on pandemic: poll

Americans are almost evenly divided over whether they trust President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE or presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE to lead the country through the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll by Washington-based FTI Consulting.

Six months before Election Day, 41 percent of respondents said they have more confidence in Trump leading the federal response to the deadly outbreak, while 38 percent said they favored the former vice president. That was within the poll’s 3.09 percentage-point margin of error.

About 14 percent of the 1,012 people who participated in the survey, conducted May 12-14, said they were undecided, while 5 percent said they trusted both leaders equally.


The survey results follow a poll conducted earlier this month by SSRS that found Biden leading Trump nationally among voters, 51 percent to 46 percent, but Trump ahead of Biden in key swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

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The FTI poll, shared with The Hill, also found that an overwhelming majority of those surveyed now favor American-made products amid the global pandemic.

Nearly 9 out of 10 respondents supported legislation requiring certain critical products — masks, swabs and other medical supplies; pharmaceuticals that treat viruses; and goods bought by the Defense Department — be made in America to prevent supply shortages, even if those products are more expensive.

Eighty-seven percent backed similar legislation that would require federal, state and local governments to buy critical products from manufacturers based in U.S.-allied countries.

The FTI survey also found 66 percent of respondents favor increasing restrictions on products made overseas and requiring more domestically produced items, while 34 percent backed pursuing free-trade agreements and reducing tariffs.

Forty percent of Americans said they absolutely would not purchase any products made in China. Trump and top Republicans have accused Beijing of withholding information about the virus early on that could have helped the U.S. better prepare for the pandemic.


About 34 percent said they would reluctantly buy goods from China, while 26 percent said they had no problem buying Chinese goods.

The wide-ranging survey also looked at how Americans are cautiously thinking about the travel and retail industries as the Trump administration urges the reopening of businesses and the broader economy.

Forty percent of respondents said they would not feel safe flying commercially today, despite airlines putting safety measures in place such as requiring passengers to wear masks and reducing seating capacity to allow for social distancing.

About 54 percent said they would feel safe flying.

When it comes to shopping, 30 percent of those polled said they would return to their pre-pandemic purchasing habits once their state and communities allow businesses to reopen.

More than 20 percent said they would primarily shop online in the future, while another 20 percent said they were more likely to shop at smaller brick-and-mortar stores than at large malls.

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