SALT LAKE CITY — A majority of Utahns continue to approve of the way President Donald Trump is doing his job as the nation grapples with a deadly pandemic and the economy stalls.

And a new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll shows Gov. Gary Herbert’s approval rating is up 10 points since January.

Also, Sen. Mike Lee remains at just under 50% job approval, while Sen. Mitt Romney’s rating climbed a little, and he still has more Democrats than Republicans in Utah who like what he’s doing.

The survey found 57% of residents strongly or somewhat approve of the job Trump is doing, his highest rating so far this year in Utah. That figure soars to 82% among Republicans, with half saying they strongly approve.

Trump’s inching up in Utah matches the dynamics of a national trend, said independent pollster Scott Rasmussen.

The president’s disapproval rating sits at 41%, according to the poll. Democrats dislike Trump even more than Republicans like him, as 85% strongly or somewhat disapprove of his performance.

The poll also showed 58% of Utahns approve of Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, though nearly half say the federal government acted too late and didn’t do enough to slow the spread of the disease.

Herbert, who like Trump has taken to daily press briefings on the coronavirus, enjoys his highest job performance rating so far this year as 65% of respondents say they strongly or somewhat approve. Only 23% disapprove, according to the poll.

Rasmussen said approval ratings are up for government leaders around the country and the world, and Herbert’s improvement is consistent with that.

The governor, who isn’t seeking reelection, received high marks from Republicans with 77% showing approval, while nearly half of Democrats also approve of his work.

More than 8 in 10 Utahns also approve of how the state has responded to the coronavirus outbreak and nearly two-thirds say it acted appropriately and in a timely manner.

Romney’s approval rating dropped to 50% after he voted in February to convict Trump of abuse of power in the impeachment trial. But in the latest poll, 57% of residents strongly or somewhat strongly approve of his performance.

And he still has more Democrats — 64% — than Republicans — 56% — voicing approval.

Romney was the only Republican to vote to remove Trump from office and one of the first senators to suggest making direct payments to Americans to deal with the financial fallout of the coronavirus.

Rasmussen said he wouldn’t connect Romney’s upward trend to a specific policy proposal, but believes it is broadly linked to the current crisis.

Lee’s 49% approval rating has stayed about the same throughout the year.

Rasmussen surveyed 979 registered Utah voters March 23-28. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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