Unlike their reaction to Trump’s response over Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Americans are more likely to disapprove than approve of the job Trump is doing when it comes to Maria and its aftermath. The latest Associated Press/NORC poll found that just 32 percent of Americans approved of Trump’s handling of disaster relief for victims of recent hurricanes “in U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” while 49 percent disapproved. In the same survey, 48 percent approved of his handling of disaster relief in Florida and Texas; just 27 percent disapproved.
Trump’s ratings on Maria seem to be sliding as more Americans form an opinion on the subject. Last week, a YouGov survey found that 45 percent of Americans approved of the job Trump was doing after Maria, while 31 percent disapproved. This week, after news coverage of Maria had increased, his approval rating in YouGov’s poll dropped to 40 percent, his disapproval rating rose to 44 percent, and the percentage of undecided respondents declined from 24 percent to 15 percent. Trump is losing the public relations battle over Maria, which may have been one of the reasons he lashed out at San Juan’s mayor for slamming the federal government’s response to the storm.