• Polling

Pandemic Optimism and Vaccine Rollout Approval Hit New Highs

Thursday, May 13, 2021 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

Key takeaways from the survey

  • Nearly seven in ten – including a plurality of Republicans – say Biden has had a positive impact on the state of the pandemic.
  • Regardless of party or geography, Americans say nearly half of adults in both their community and in the country at large have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
  • Americans are wary of new variants or strains emerging in the pandemic that could be worse than the first.


The Share Saying the “Worst Is Over” of the Pandemic Has Hit a New High in Tracking

Optimism about the state of the pandemic is cross-partisan: 61% of Democrats, 50% of independents, and 65% of Republicans now say the “worst is over.”

As a Growing Majority Report Being Vaccinated, Three in Four Approve of the Rollout

Approval of the vaccine rollout is high across party lines: 88% of Democrats, 58% of independents, and 60% of Republicans approve of how the vaccine rollout has gone so far in the United States.

Plurality of Americans Across Party and Race Say Biden Has Had a Positive Impact on Combating the Pandemic

For the first time in tracking, a plurality of Republicans (42%) now say Biden has had a positive impact.

Americans Across Party and Geography Say Nearly Half of Adults in Both Country and Community Have Been Vaccinated

Similar patterns exist by density: urban Americans say 47% of adults in their community have gotten the shot, suburban Americans say 50% in theirs, and small town/rural Americans say 45% in theirs.

Pandemic Worries Are Dominated By Fears of New Strains or Variants

Majorities across parties say they are “very” or “somewhat” worried about new variants or strains.

Americans Are Still More Concerned Social Distancing Will End Too Soon, Though Fewer Than Six Months Ago

Among vaccinated Americans*, 28% are more concerned social distancing will go on too long while 59% say end too soon; among unvaccinated Americans, 53% are more concerned it will go on too long versus 33% end too soon.

Most Do Not Feel Pressured Either Way on Mask-Wearing

Republicans are most likely to report feeling pressured to wear a mask more often than they would otherwise (39%), although 54% say they do not feel pressure “one way or the other.”

About This Study

This release features findings from a national online survey of 1000 registered voters conducted May 6-10, 2021. Additional interviews were conducted among 99 Hispanic voters, 102 African American voters, 100 independents without a partisan lean, and 96 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org