Public Opinion on Coronavirus and The Vote: Navigator Update

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.

This release features findings from a national online survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted October 15-19, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • Three in five say Trump has not done enough to discourage white supremacist violence in the United States.
  • Half of Americans say Republicans in Congress have not shown enough independence from President Trump and say they are best described as “yes men” who are “showing no backbone” and “putting country over party.”
  • Majorities of Americans overall – and specifically parents – say if cases of coronavirus continue to rise in the winter, schools should be fully remote.

Americans Continue to Say Trump Made Disorder Worse

Among independents, there has been an 8-point increase since late September in the share who say Trump has “made the situation worse,” and there has been a 4-point increase in the share who blame Trump more than Democrats.

Three in Five Say Trump Has Not Done Enough to Discourage White Supremacist Violence in the U.S.

A majority of Americans say Trump has not done enough to discourage white supremacist violence while president.

  • 74% of Black Americans and 70% of Hispanic Americans say he has not done enough.

After Initial Dip, Support for Protests Against Racial Injustice Has Remained Steady Over Last Two Months

Nearly three in five continue to support the protests in the country against racial injustice, with net support stabilizing around +20 over the course of the summer

  • Among independents, 51% support the protests, while only 34% oppose them.

Majority Continue to Believe Trump Has Committed a Crime While President

Consistent with last year’s November Navigator poll, a majority believe that Trump has committed a crime while president, including nearly two in five who say he “definitely has.”

  • Nearly half of independents (47%) believe Trump has committed a crime at some point his presidency.

Trump’s Presidency: “Self-Absorbed” and “Chaotic”

In the last week, the share who say Trump’s presidency has been “self-absorbed” has grown a net 8 points, and the share who say it has been chaotic has grown a net 9 points.

  • Among independents, 73% say “self-absorbed” and 68% say “chaotic” describe how Trump is handling his job as president.

Half Say Republicans Have Not Shown Enough Independence from Trump; See Them as “Yes Men” With “No Backbone”

Half say Republicans in Congress have not shown enough independence from Trump, while just one in three say they have struck the right balance. Top descriptors include “yes men,” “no backbone,” and “putting party over country.”

Majorities Have Negative Impressions of Trump’s Rallies and Say He Should Stop Holding Them

More than half say they have a negative impression of Trump’s rallies and feel he should stop holding them.

  • Intensity of opposition is high: 44% have a “very negative” impression of his rallies and 42% feel “strongly” he should stop holding rallies.

More Oppose Than Support SCOTUS Nomination Before Election Day

Just two in five report watching “a lot” or “some” of Barrett’s hearings – and a plurality continue to oppose her appointment, saying whoever wins the election should be responsible for choosing the new Justice.

Mix of Views on Best Approach for Schools, Though Few are Ready for a Return to Normal

Two in five say schools should not be open and nearly the same say schools should use a hybrid model.

    • Fewer parents (29%) than Americans overall (38%) support schools being partially open right now: two in five (39%) say that schools should not be open, while one in three (32%) say schools should be fully open.

If Cases Continue to Rise in Winter, Majority Say Schools Should Close Down and Move to Full Remote Learning

More than half say if cases continue to rise, schools should close down and move to fully remote learning.

    • Among parents, nearly half (49%) support moving to fully remote learning if cases continue to rise in the winter.

Most Say There Have Been “Many” or “Some” School Outbreaks But Say This Is to Be Expected

Three in five say there have been “many” or “some” coronavirus outbreaks in schools in the United States, but half say this is to be expected and that schools “had to reopen at some point.”

Mitch McConnell Remains Disliked By Majority of Americans

Mitch McConnell’s numbers on “unfavorable” are tied for their highest point in our tracking since March at 51%, with his net favorability at -25.

      • Among independents, 48% have an unfavorable view of McConnell while only 14% have a favorable view.

Biden and Trump Voters Agree Michael Jordan is the Best Basketball Player of All Time

Despite LeBron James recently winning his fourth championship, majorities of Biden and Trump voters say Jordan is the greatest player of all time, while less than one in six of each say that LeBron is the best of all time.

      • Among men ages 18-34, 27% think LeBron is the best basketball player of all time.