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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

A new tracking poll from a Republican-leaning pollster shows Donald Trump's approval rating has taken a huge hit during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, Rasmussen Reports' Daily Presidential Tracking Poll found Trump's approval rating at just 42 percent and his disapproval rating at 57 percent. The negative 15 point margin is his worst in the survey since late 2017.

The poll was sponsored by pro-Trump activist Jack Posobiec of the far-right One American News Network.

Trump has frequently praised Rasmussen's polls, calling the company "one of the most accurate in predicting the 2016 Election" and lauding the company for its "honest polling." As recently as February 25, he tweeted that he had reached "52% in the new Rasmussen Poll."

Rasmussen itself has a distinct pro-GOP bias. After the 2016 elections, polling analyst Nate Silver noted that "the Republican lean in its polls ran pretty much wire to wire."

"It had a significant Republican house effect early in the election cycle and a significant Republican house effect late in the election, and it would up turning into a significant Republican bias on Election Day," he wrote.

In September 2018, Ipsos Public Affairs research director Mallory Newall told Hill.TV that Rasmussen's adjustment of data based on party identification tends "to be more along the partisan angle, leaning toward the Republicans."

Rasmussen has consistently shown better numbers for Trump and his allies than other major polling firms. CNN analyst Harry Enten noted after the 2018 midterms that Rasmussen's polling had been the least accurate of any firm, actually showing Republicans ahead nationally by one point before the blue wave. "The midterm elections prove that at least for now Rasmussen is dead wrong and traditional pollsters are correct," he argued.

Wednesday's Rasmussen data, by contrast, reflect the same trends as other national pollsters.

Following a brief approval boost in March, as the coronavirus was first beginning to take hold, Trump's approval tumbled. FiveThirtyEight's current average puts him at 42.6 percent approval and 53.7 percent disapproval, while RealClearPolitics puts Trump's average at 43.5 percent approval and 54.5 percent disapproval.

Trump has been criticized broadly for his botched response and downplaying the threat. Harvard Global Health Institute head Ashish Jha told Bloomberg in March that the administration wasted about two months failing to ramp up widespread coronavirus testing as the pandemic spread across the country.

Though Trump has said that he does not "take responsibility at all" for the situation, the American people have increasingly blamed him, with a Pew Research Center poll as far back as April showing at least 65 percent of U.S. adults believed he had acted "too slow" in responding to the virus.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) declared on Sunday morning that she will oppose any Republican attempt to move ahead with a Supreme Court nomination to fill the seat left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.

"For weeks, I have stated that I would not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to the election," said Murkowski in a statement released by her office. "Sadly, what was then a hypothetical is now our reality, but my position has not changed."

The Alaska Republican joined Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in opposing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's announced determination to replace Ginsburg with a Trump appointee. If McConnell loses two more Republican votes, he will be unable to move a nomination before Election Day.