How COVID-19 Has Changed Politicians’ Approval Ratings Worldwide

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the politician with the highest approval rating among a selection of world leaders in a poll published by Morning Consult. However, Modi’s approval rating was high before the coronavirus crisis and has only slightly improved throughout it. On March 17, 74 percent of Indians approved of the prime minister and this number was up by 8 percent to 82 percent on May 19.

The world leaders who saw their ratings improve most in the course of the crisis were Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Boris Johnson’s approval rating surged in April, when the UK prime minister was battling coronavirus himself, but was back down to 55 percent in May among a surge of COVID-19 deaths in the UK – leaving an increase of only 9 percent compared to March.

Despite leading the country with the most coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, U.S. President Donald Trump’s approval ratings have remained extremely steady during the crisis, only moving within a range of 4 percentage points since January. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, on the other hand, fared much worse, perhaps due to his public dismissal of social distancing measures. Bolsonaro’s approval in the country, which currently has the second-most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world, fell by 17 percentage points since March.