(CNN)Amid the fear, misinformation and political spin that have plagued the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, one group of politicians has emerged with the trust of a majority of the American public: governors.
In fact, 51% of Americans agreed with the statement that their governor had “communicated a clear plan in response to the coronavirus” — a far higher number than said the same of President Donald Trump (33%) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (31%), according to new polling data from Gallup.What’s interesting is that there is a major split even within the governors’ ranks, with the public giving much higher ratings to Democratic governors than Republican ones.
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Overall, almost 6 in 10 said Democratic governors had clearly communicated plans to combat the virus, while just 43% said the same of Republican governors. That split has been consistent since late June, with ratings for Democratic governors generally outpacing Republican ones by low double digits.Read MoreLet’s tackle the relative popularity of governors amid the pandemic first. Unlike the federal government, which can feel far away and slow-moving, people see their governor on TV nearly every day — particularly in a moment of crisis like we’ve been in for months. Unless that governor commits an act of blatant stupidity — and we’ve seen some of them — people see that person as generally competent and capable. Now for the Democratic governors vs. Republican governors thing. There has been, without question, a clear difference in how governors from the two parties have handled the virus. Generally speaking, Republican governors were slower to issue (or reissue) stay-at-home mandates, more willing to reopen quickly and skeptical of the need for mask mandates.Democratic governors have been far more proactive in their efforts to slow the spread, generally relying more on the established science regarding Covid-19 than the pronouncements of President Trump.The evidence suggests that the Democrats’ approach has been more successful in saving lives. Of the 10 states with the most deaths from coronavirus per 100,000 residents, seven are currently represented by Republican governors. (An eighth — Montana — elected a Republican governor this year.)Still, even Republican governors are significantly better regarded than the President or even the CDC.The Point: Being governor is a hands-on job, making decisions every day that affect your constituents’ lives. At least when it comes to coronavirus, people think Democratic governors have shone.