Latest Navigating Coronavirus Update

Friday, September 18, 2020

A credible, trusted message-development voice for progressives in policy debates, providing the best words, images, elements, phrases and frames to ensure progressives win the argument.

A credible, trusted message-development voice for progressives in policy debates, providing the best words, images, elements, phrases and frames to ensure progressives win the argument.

Latest Navigating Coronavirus Update

Thursday, September 17, 2020

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Our Vision

Progressives know that we have the right policy prescriptions, but not always the right framing and language for how to talk about the fights we are engaged in every day. We can win the argument if we know how to make it.

Join Us.

Sign up to receive regular updates from Navigator.

Featured news

Why Blaming China For The Pandemic Probably Won’t Help Trump Win

Tuesday, July 29, 2020

A Navigator poll from late April, for instance, tested multiple narratives about who’s to blame for the pandemic, asking voters which of two statements they agreed with more even if they didn’t fully agree with either. When forced to choose between a statement that placed all the blame on Trump and one that put all the blame on China, respondents were essentially evenly divided, 49 to 51, which is well within the poll’s confidence interval. A statement that blamed both Trump and China got slightly more support, at 54 percent. This suggests that at least some voters are open to an argument that gives China a significant share of the blame for the pandemic.

Tweets

Here are the top takeaways from last week’s Navigator:

*A majority of Americans know someone infected with COVID
*Public most likely to say Trump’s attitude toward U.S. military is disrespectful
*2 in 5 favorable toward Pelosi while just 3 in 10 favorable on McConnell

THREAD↓

Two in five Americans have a favorable view of Pelosi while less than three in ten say the same of McConnell.

Among independents, while 25% are not sure of their view of Pelosi, 40% are not sure of their view of McConnell.

Majorities of Americans support legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing distribution and possession of marijuana, with little difference across policies in levels of support.

While at least three in ten Americans across party lines say they will have trouble paying bills in the next month, views of the state of the American economy are driven by partisanship.

Roughly two in five are more concerned about voter suppression – mostly driven by Democrats – while the same share is more concerned about casting their votes illegally, or voter fraud – mostly driven by Republicans.

Nearly 2 in 5 Americans say they are not voting by mail simply because they prefer to vote in person, while one in five say they worry if they vote by mail, their vote might not get counted.

Among Republicans, 29% do worry if they vote by mail, their vote might not get counted.

In the last six weeks, intent to vote by mail has dropped 9 points, with declines across Democrats (down 11 points), independents (down 6 points) and Republicans (down 5 points).

Three in five say there have been “many” or “some” outbreaks in schools across the country, but perceptions of the frequency of these outbreaks differ greatly by party identification.

Almost half say their community’s school reopening is going well. However, almost three in four acknowledge schools in their community will have to close at some point due to an outbreak.

Most Americans say schools in their community have begun their school years, and a plurality say that the schools in their community are partially open while a quarter say their schools are fully remote.

“Disrespectful,” is the most common description for Trump’s attitude toward the U.S. military.

The vast majority (70%) said they found at least one of the statements recently made by Trump disparaging the military concerning.

Three in five Americans find a range of statements related to Trump’s disparaging of Americans who have served in the military concerning, as do three in five in active duty/veteran households.

Two in three Americans – including three in four in active duty/veteran households – report hearing “a lot” or “some” about comments The Atlantic recently reported Trump has made demeaning Americans who joined the military.

A majority of Americans say they blame Trump for the disorder in the country because it’s happening on his watch; just one in three blame Democrats more for not standing up to the “radical left.”

Americans’ trust in Trump to reduce violent crime continues to lag behind trust in Democrats in Congress.

In the last two weeks among independents, there has been an 11-point increase in the share who trust Democrats in Congress more than Trump to reduce violent crime.

Both the public overall and independents see the top two ways Trump is making the protests and disorder in America worse is his dividing of Americans to help his reelection chances, and escalating conflict.

More than half say Trump’s response to the protests and disorder has made the situation worse, while just one in six say that he has made it better.

A majority of suburbanites (55%) say Trump has made it worse.

While violent crime “around the country” is a serious worry for four in five, crime “in your community” only worries about three in five.

A majority are more concerned about coronavirus infecting them and those close to them, compared to less than two in five are more concerned about the personal risks from rising crime around the country.

Three in four say they trust Dr. Fauci “a lot” or “some” to tell the truth about the safety of the coronavirus vaccine, while only two in five say the same about Donald Trump.

The president faces a double-digit deficit on trust compared to Democrats in Congress on handling the approval and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

Three in five now say they are more concerned that America will go too far in pushing to develop a vaccine too quickly rather than that America will be too cautious and slow.

While half of Americans say they will get the coronavirus vaccine, nearly a third say they generally support vaccines but feel unsure about whether the coronavirus vaccine will be safe.

Released in a recent audio tape, Trump’s admission that he purposefully downplayed the coronavirus is the most concerning item related to his handling of the pandemic.

More than a third (35%) of independents find his purposeful downplaying of the virus most concerning.

A majority say Trump has given up fighting coronavirus and that he wants what is best for himself instead of what is best for the country.

Among 2016 Trump voters, 25% say that he has given up fighting coronavirus and 23% say he wants what is best for himself.

In the last two weeks, the share who say the “worst is yet to come” has increased 2 points, while the share who say the “worst is over” is down 5 points.

Among independents, 54% say the “worst is yet to come” while only 22% say the “worst is over.”

With total U.S. cases approaching seven million and nearly 200,000 dead from coronavirus, more than half of Americans know someone who has been infected and a quarter know someone who has died from it.

Consistent with aggregate data across the last six months, Trump’s approval ratings remain in the negative.

Among independents in the latest survey, Trump is 20 points underwater on his handling of the economy and 33 points underwater on his overall approval.

Key takeaways from last week’s Navigator poll:

*Americans’ top policy priorities are the pandemic, jobs & the economy, and health care
*Majorities support #BlackLivesMatter protests and sports teams to boycotting in solidarity
*2 in 3 still express caution on reopening schools

Many Americans continue to say they would likely vote by mail if it is an option in their state, though interest is 8 points lower than at the beginning of August.

Among independents, there has been a 14-point decline since August 3 in the share who say they will vote by mail.

The majority still say that the debate about the funding of the USPS remains unresolved. In the last week though, the share who say the debate on funding cuts and reductions in service at the USPS is ongoing has declined 10 points.

Support for the federal government fully funding the USPS remains high, with the vast majority supporting fully funding and nearly half saying they “strongly support” fully funding.

Just over half of Americans are familiar with Betsy DeVos – and among those who are familiar, most hold an unfavorable view, with 28% who say they have a “very unfavorable” view of the Secretary of Education.

The public blames students, colleges and universities, and Donald Trump most for recent outbreaks of coronavirus at colleges and universities that have reopened in-person.

Independents (25%) and Republicans (31%) are most likely to not blame anyone for recent college outbreaks.

The issues that raise the most serious concerns all focus on coronavirus infection as a result of in-person schooling – while issues like the economy suffering from parents helping their children with schooling are far lower concerns.

Even while support for reopening schools is now almost even with opposition, there has been no change in the share who say they are on the “cautious” side of the debate.

More than three in five of those in communities with in-person schooling and those in communities with remote schooling say their schools’ plan is going well, while less than half of hybrid model communities say it is going well.

In the last week, the share who report that the school year has begun in their community has grown 9 points.

Among parents, there has been a 12-point increase in the share who report the K-12 school year has begun.

Americans continue to be split on their views of who they trust more to protect “law and order.”

Over time, the share who say they “do not know” on this metric has declined significantly, from 23% September 2018 to 9% now, while the margin has remained static.

Democrats in Congress hold a 4-point advantage over Trump on “reducing violent crime in America.”

Among suburban voters, Democrats in Congress hold a 10-point advantage over the president (51% Democrats in Congress/41% President Trump).

More than half agree with statements saying Trump is blaming others for crime increasing, he can’t be trusted due to crimes committed within his own administration, and he is exploiting the increase in crime as a re-election scare tactic.

When asked about the role the president plays in local and national crime, a plurality (42%) say that the president can play an important role, while less than a third say the president has little to do with crime.

While nearly 3 in 4 believe there is more crime in the U.S. than there was a year ago, more than 2 in 5 say crime in their local community has not changed in the last year.

Republicans (80%) and African Americans (74%) are most likely to say crime has increased in the last year.

More than half are more concerned about coronavirus infecting them and those close to them, while two in five are more concerned about the risk that the rise in crime around the country poses to them and those close to them.

Three in five support the protests focused on police treatment of Black Americans following the death of George Floyd, and more than half support the decision by sports teams to boycott games following Jacob Blake’s shooting.

More than three in four are hearing “a lot” or “some” about the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer.

Hispanic Americans (81%), Democrats (84%), and Black Americans (86%) are hearing the most about the shooting of Jacob Blake.

A majority say they had a positive impression of the DNC on the whole, 12 points higher than the share who said the same about the RNC.

Among independents, the difference is steeper: impressions of the DNC were 15 points higher than the RNC.

More than half say they had a favorable impression of Biden’s acceptance speech, while less than 2 in 5 say the same of Trump’s acceptance speech.

Among those mixed on Trump, only 26% had a positive impression of Trump’s speech, while 37% had a positive impression of Biden’s.

Republicans see their own party as the party of working class people, middle class people, and people like you, and Democrats see their own party as the party of people of color, working class people, and low income people.

Americans see Democrats as most focused on the pandemic and race relations, while they say they are not focused enough on corruption in government and jobs and the economy.

Despite coronavirus being the top priority for most Americans, the public sees Republicans as mostly focused on jobs and the economy and immigration, not the pandemic.

Americans say the pandemic, jobs and the economy, and health care are the most important issues for the president and Congress to focus on right now.

A majority support shutting down the country again if public health experts recommend it, including two in five who say they “strongly support” it.

Even among 2016 Trump voters, 40% support shutting down again if health experts recommend it.

Nearly three in four say America will not return to normal in 2020 – with almost one in ten saying it never will.

Democrats are the most likely to say the United States will not return to normal until 2021 or later (87%), while only 53% of Republicans say the same.

With 60% of Republicans now saying about the pandemic that “the worst is over,” the share saying the “worst is yet to come” has declined to its lowest levels since early June.

Most Democrats (65%) and independents (58%) still believe the worst is yet to come.

Fewer than one in six say the country should relax social distancing measures, though the share who say the country needs more aggressive social distancing measures is down several points since last week.

Trump’s approval ratings have mostly returned to pre-convention levels after a post-DNC decline.

Republicans are driving the recent rebound: their approval of his handling of the economy and his handling of the pandemic have improved considerably compared to last week.

A majority are more concerned that cuts to the Postal Service will prevent millions of Americans from getting their everyday needs than putting the integrity of the election at risk.

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