So far, so good? The improvement in voter approval for Donald Trump’s crisis management seen in last week’s ABC News survey continues this week in three new polls. The question is how best Trump can sustain it — by staying the course, or by shifting back to prioritizing the economy.

First, Gallup shows Trump at 49% overall approval, but significantly higher on COVID-19 response:

President Donald Trump may be enjoying a small rally in public support as the nation faces the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty-nine percent of U.S. adults, up from 44% earlier this month, approve of the job Trump is doing as president. Trump also had 49% job approval ratings — the best of his presidency — in late January and early February around the time of the Senate impeachment trial that resulted in his acquittal. …

Trump’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic may be behind his higher overall approval rating. Americans give the president generally positive reviews for his handling of the situation, with 60% approving and 38% disapproving. Ninety-four percent of Republicans, 60% of independents and 27% of Democrats approve of his response.

The Trump administration has received some criticism for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic — including that the president downplayed the threat, at least up until his nationally televised address on March 11. On March 16, Trump acknowledged the seriousness of the situation by urging people to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and to have workers and students stay home if possible. The administration has had daily press conferences since then to update the nation on what the federal government is doing to address the situation.

Trump turned things around by taking a much more serious tone and approach to the crisis, dialing down the skepticism. Today’s town hall in which he suggested that everything would get back to normal by Easter and that the shutdown had been questionable seems to cut against that effort. If that remains the messaging, the next iteration of these polls will be very interesting indeed.

Next, the latest CBS/YouGov poll puts Trump’s coronavirus leadership at 53/47 approval, above his overall 46/48 rating, which is itself relatively good.

Oddly enough, the CBS text report doesn’t mention Trump’s rating, but it does point up some interesting data from the poll. For one thing, while there isn’t much partisan difference on social distancing behavior, there is a partisan split on worry over personal exposure to COVID-19. Or is it a suburban/urban split? Or both?

Partisanship is less of a factor separating behavior — most Republicans report they’re staying in more, as do most Democrats — but partisanship does separate outlook about the prospects for the country and for oneself. More Democrats (42%) are very concerned they’ll get the virus than Republicans (22%). (Democrats are also more likely to report they live in cities.) A four-in-10 plurality of Republicans say they’re somewhat concerned. Democrats are also more than twice as likely as Republicans to say it is a crisis for the nation.

Perhaps related, Democrats are more likely to report feeling nervous and stressed over the last week. And while both groups are more optimistic than pessimistic that Americans will do what it takes to stop the spread, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to be optimistic (76% vs. 53%).

Both groups are surprisingly optimistic, considering the circumstances. That’s especially remarkable when 71% of respondents are somewhat or very concerned about getting the coronavirus themselves or having a family member contract it. Fifty-five percent are only going outside the house out of necessity and another 12% aren’t leaving their homes at all. That’s a sharp social change that wouldn’t necessarily be associated with optimism, but good leadership matters in that calculation, too.

It’s also reflected in the difference between Trump’s approval rating and Congress’. The overall number is nearly identical, but not the breakdowns:

Monmouth’s latest poll notes that governors are getting higher marks than Trump, but he’s getting half of all respondents supporting his efforts too:

The nation’s governors get better marks than the President for handling the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Monmouth (“Mon-muth”) University Poll. Still, Donald Trump receives a net positive rating for his actions around the pandemic and his overall job rating has improved slightly since last month. Federal health agencies garner better marks than either the president or Congress for dealing with the crisis, but reviews are more mixed for how the media and the American public as a whole have handled it. Most Americans report experiencing a major impact from the coronavirus situation, with one-third saying they have suffered a loss in income.

More Americans say President Trump has done a good job (50%) rather than bad job (45%) dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Governors, though, get even better ratings for handling the outbreak, with 72% of the public saying their state’s governor has done a good job to just 18% a bad job. Opinion of how Trump has dealt with the crisis is decidedly partisan, with the number saying he has done a good job ranging from 89% of Republicans to 48% of independents and 19% of Democrats. Public praise for the nations’ governors is much more bipartisan at 76% of Democrats, 73% of Republicans, and 67% of independents saying their governor has done a good job dealing with the situation.

That reassessment has leaked just a bit into Trump’s overall approval rating too, even among Democrats:

Public opinion on the overall job Trump has done as president has ticked up since last month. His job rating now stands at 46% approve and 48% disapprove compared to 44% approve and 50% disapprove in February. He currently has a 91% approve to 5% disapprove rating among Republicans, 44% to 48% among independents, and 11% to 85% among Democrats. Changes over the past few months have been small, but of note, the 85% disapprove rating among Democrats marks the first time since the impeachment process started last summer that this number has been below 90%.

It’s also the first time since the midterms that Trump’s disapproval has been below 50%. A crisis can produce a rally-’round-the-leader effect, of couse, and the Monmouth data shows the scope of that crisis. The pandemic has had a massive impact on Americans’ daily lives:

The poll finds that 53% of Americans report that the outbreak has had a major impact on their own daily lives. Another 32% say it has had a minor impact and 15% say it has had no real impact. Among those who say they have felt a major impact, nearly one-third (31%) report the biggest change has been cuts to their work hours or layoffs. Another 8% say the biggest change is working from home, 4% report an increase in their work load because of the outbreak and 9% report nonspecific work issues. Changes to social interactions are also among the major impacts mentioned, including being isolated or self-quarantined (13%), not being able to go out to public places (17%), and not being able to see family or friends (9%). Child-related issues are also present, with 11% saying having their school age children at home has been one of the biggest changes in their lives and 6% reporting that the closure of colleges and universities is the biggest impact. Other big changes reported are the shortage of food and supplies (13%) and a growing sense of fear, stress, and distrust (9%).

Basically, this also shows that tone matters. Trump has built up credibility by appearing daily on camera to answer tough questions about the pandemic and the administration’s response. He has experts on the dais with him to demonstrate that the White House has a firm grasp on the problem. Demonstrations of real leadership in a crisis will always get a warm response from voters, at least for a short time.

With all of that data trending in Trump’s favor, it raises a question about why he’s thinking about shifting strategies now. He has the public behind him on social distancing, even if they are worried over the economic implications of the Great Hunkering Down. Momentum should be in favor of staying the course, with some minor corrections for using the Defense Production Act and demanding more action from Congress to fund manufacturing priorities. Why not ride out the flattening of the curve a little longer while it’s building his political capital? Changing course is the bigger risk, especially since all of the health experts and a lot of data suggest that it would be very helpful in getting resources produced ahead of the surge in demand which will come at some point.