New Poll on National Optimism Shows Media Badgering Trump for 'Giving False Sense of Hope' May Have Backfired

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

President Donald J. Trump sees off the USNS Comfort Saturday, March 28, 2020, as she departs Naval Air Station Norfolk Pier 8 in Norfolk, Virginia and sets sail for NYC. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Over the last several weeks, the White House press corp have made it clear they believe that President Trump’s optimism about how our country will be able to eventually bounce back from the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has given Americans “a false sense of hope.” CNN’s Stephen Collinson devoted an entire article to Trump’s tendency to encourage people to stay positive in a piece titled “Trump peddles unsubstantiated hope in dark times”

But a new poll out from Gallup shows that while Americans are still more pessimistic than optimistic about the state of the nation, attitudes about the future are changing for the better:

Americans remain more pessimistic than optimistic about the trajectory of the coronavirus situation in the U.S., but their assessments improved considerably over the course of the past week.

In Gallup interviewing conducted April 6-9, 62% of Americans said the situation was getting worse while 25% said it was getting better. Over the weekend, the percentage seeing the situation as getting worse fell to 48%, while the percentage who think it is getting better increased to 34%.

Here’s the graph they provided:

Furthermore, the poll notes this is a bipartisan thing, stating that “all party groups see [the] situation as improving”:

Attitudes about the coronavirus situation have varied by political party identification. Democrats are much more inclined than independents and, especially, Republicans to see the situation as getting worse. However, in recent days, all party groups show at least double-digit declines in the percentage saying the situation is getting worse.

The majority of Democrats still believe the situation is getting worse, but now a majority of Republicans say it is getting better.

I’m sure there are a number of reasons for the shift. Peaks are occurring in several of the nation’s hot spots, including New York City, where the curve is beginning to flatten. There’s more talk and action from Trump and from governors on both sides of the aisle about formulating game plans for gradually reopening their states while at the same time protecting those most at risk of catching the Wuhan coronavirus.

Throughout all of this, Trump has banged the optimism drum, often expressing a desire to get things back to normal. Some of that has undoubtedly rubbed off on some of the millions of people who have watched the daily White House briefings from home. His task force is telling him it can be done, but that it has to be done in steps, and he seems to be good with that.

Trump’s doing what any president would and should do in the midst of a crisis. Give people a sense of hope, a belief that we’ll come out of the crisis stronger than ever before. Bush did it after 9/11, and that’s what Trump’s been doing, too.

“I want to be positive. I don’t want to be negative. I’m a positive person. Somebody said ‘oh, I wish he’d be more negative.’ Well, this is really easy to be more negative about. But I want to give people hope, too. You know, I’m a cheerleader for the country,” Trump told CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta two weeks ago.

Though it’s not over yet, Americans are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel in the midst of this pandemic. Trump’s not the only reason for that, but he is a part of the reason why.

(Hat tip: CNS News)