That may seem as if it's just mirroring how people feel more generally about Trump. But if you look closer, the negative views of his Puerto Rico response lie in stark contrast to reviews of him on other hurricanes and the tragedy in Las Vegas. Trump gets positive marks on Hurricane Harvey in Texas (57 percent say his administration has done enough, vs. 27 percent who say it hasn't), Hurricane Irma in Florida (57 to 26) and the massacre in Las Vegas (50 to 34).
In other words, people are willing to see the good in Trump's responses, but they just aren't seeing it on Puerto Rico.
And Thursday's tweets will probably only exacerbate that. Undergirding the sense that the administration hasn't come through in Puerto Rico is the belief that Trump simply doesn't care about the heavily Hispanic U.S. territory. Asked whether Trump “cares about the problems facing Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria,” a majority — 52 percent — say he doesn't, while just 43 percent say he does.
Another way of looking at how troubling this should be for the administration is the comparison to Hurricane Katrina — the last major hurricane to see a botched federal response and cost the sitting president dearly.
Those negative-10 and negative-16 net approvals are better than Trump's negative 19 at a similar juncture.
That's not to say Maria will become Trump's Katrina. As the president has helpfully pointed out, many more died in New Orleans in 2005. There is also plenty to play out when it comes to the federal response. In both cases, we perhaps didn't know the full scope of the devastation or the failings of the response just three weeks on. And Puerto Rico certainly hasn't resonated immediately with the American people as Katrina did, perhaps partially owing to its status as a U.S. territory and not a state.