Public Opinion on Coronavirus and The Vote: Navigator Update

Friday, October 9th, 2020

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 1,011 registered voters conducted October 2-5, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • Americans expect Amy Coney Barrett to make the Court more conservative and think it is likely that the ACA will be struck down and Roe overturned.
  • Biden voters are especially motivated to vote by Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett.
  • Trump’s leaked tax returns help to drive home the idea that the system is rigged, and there are different sets of rules for regular people and people like Trump.

By 16-Point Margin, Public Wants Senate to Focus on Coronavirus and Put Supreme Court on Hold

Americans continue to prefer the Supreme Court nomination to wait until post-election by a clear margin, and the margin is even wider when framed as a choice between focusing on the Court or focusing on handling the pandemic.

Most Americans Think Coney Barrett Confirmation Will Push Court to the Right

Americans are conflicted on the Supreme Court’s recent ideological tilt but there is a clear belief that if Coney Barrett is confirmed it will become more conservative – many think “much more.”

Biden Supporters More Motivated By Court Fight than Trump Supporters

A majority say they are motivated to vote because of the nomination of a new Justice by Donald Trump, with Democrats most motivated to vote as a result.

  • Among Trump voters, though 54% say they are more motivated, more than two in five (44%) say that it makes no difference to them in their motivation to vote.

“Obamacare” Is Popular, and “The Affordable Care Act” Is Even More Popular

While majorities have favorable views of both “Obamacare” and “the Affordable Care Act,” the ACA is 7 points more popular than Obamacare.

  • “Obamacare” has reached a new high in popularity in Navigator tracking, at net +15 – now up from +5 in February – as has “The Affordable Care Act,” up a net 31 points since June 2019 (from +1 to +32).

2 to 1 Opposition to Supreme Court Striking Down the Affordable Care Act

A majority say the Supreme Court should keep the Affordable Care Act intact instead of overturning it.

  • Support for overturning the ACA is almost entirely concentrated among Republicans, with only 8% of Democrats and 14% of independents in favor.

Americans Feel Court Will Likely Turn More Conservative, Divide Country Politically, and Overturn Roe and the ACA

Since September 2018, there has been a sharp increase in the share who think that abortion will become illegal and same sex marriages will no longer be valid in many states if Trump’s next Supreme Court Justice is confirmed.

Nearly Seven in Ten Agree Trump Acts Like Congress and Courts Should Do What He Wants

More than two in three say that Trump acts like Congress and the courts should do what he wants, rather than that he ultimately respects the checks and balances of our system of government.

Trump Is Seen as Putting the Wealthy Ahead of Working and Middle Class People By More Than 20-Point Margin

Three in five say that Trump’s policies put wealthy people first while less than two in five say his policies put working and middle class people first.

  • Among independents, two in three (66%) consistently have said Trump’s policies have put wealthy people first since February, with nearly two in five saying they feel this way “strongly.”

Trump Is Seen as Looking Out for the Rich and Corporations While Democrats Are Seen as Looking Out for the Middle Class

Nearly three in five say Trump and his administration’s policies favor the wealthy and big corporations, while more than half say Democrats in Congress’s policies favor middle and working class people.

  • Half of independents (50%) say Trump’s policies favor the wealthy while only 36% say the same of Democrats.

Most Feel The NYT Trump Tax Return Story Was Important Information for the Public

Almost two in three say the information released by The New York Times regarding Trump’s tax returns was important information for the public to know.

  • A majority (62%) of independents feel the information was important for the public to know.

Most Bothersome Parts of Trump’s Tax Returns: Paying Less than the Average American, Paying $0 in 10 of the Last 15 Years

One in three Americans are bothered by Trump’s status as a billionaire and his paying far less in federal income taxes than the average American, and that he paid $0 in federal income taxes in 10 years of the last 15.

Most Bothersome Aspect of Trump’s Tax Returns: Millions of Dollars Owed to Foreign Entities

The most concerning item for Americans among a series of revelations from The New York Times’s coverage of Trump’s tax returns is the hundreds of millions of dollars Trump owes to foreign entities.

A System Rigged for the Rich and Separate Rules for the Wealthy Are Top Concerns from Trump’s Tax Returns

After exposure to various statements regarding Trump’s tax returns, the issues that stand out the most as concerns for Americans focus on the disparity between the experiences of the rich, like Trump, in contrast to the experiences of everyday people when it comes to taxes and personal finances.