Public Opinion on Coronavirus and The Vote: Navigator Update

Thursday, October 15th, 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 1,003 registered voters conducted October 8-12, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • With the Supreme Court hearings underway, the public remains opposed to a potential rollback of the ACA.
  • Americans conflicted about Trump see the most urgent need for relief to prevent small business closures, to fund state and local programs, and for stimulus checks.
  • A $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package is overwhelmingly supported, and Trump gets more blame for no deal.

Amy Coney Barrett Favorability Ratings Decline

Over the last two weeks, Amy Coney Barrett’s net favorability ratings have decreased by 7 points.

  • Among Democrats and independents, Amy Coney Barrett’s net favorability ratings have decreased by 15 and 16 points respectively, while among Republicans, net favorability has improved by 7 points.

More Americans Continue to Prefer Having a Biden Nominee Fill SCOTUS Vacancy Over Amy Coney Barrett

Since last week, a near-majority continue to prefer Biden’s Supreme Court nominee over Barrett.

  • Among independents, preference for Biden’s pick over Barrett has grown 15 points since last week (from 24% to 39%).

Overturning the Affordable Care Act Remains Unpopular

A majority of Americans continue to believe the Supreme Court should not overturn the ACA.

  • Among independents, 46% support keeping the ACA in place while only one in six (16%) support overturning it.

Top Worries Right Now are the Economic Impact of the Pandemic and People Irresponsibly Spreading Virus

Americans across parties are most worried about those who are currently struggling from the economic impact of the pandemic not getting the government assistance they need, others ignoring social distancing, and a recession.

Many Americans Remain Uneasy About Finances and a Third Will Have Trouble Paying Their Bills This Month

Nearly half of Americans say their current financial situation makes them uneasy about the next few months, and more than one in three say they will have trouble paying bills this month.

Plurality Continue to Say Economy is “Getting Worse”

Nearly half say the economy is “getting worse,” while just one in four say the economy is “getting better.”

  • Among independents, a majority (52%) say the economy is “getting worse.”

Top Concerns on Relief: Small Business Closure, Lack of Rental Relief, and Limited Funding for State and Local Programs

Among those mixed on Trump*, small businesses, state/local programs, and stimulus checks are top concerns.

Majority Disapprove of Trump’s Economic Recovery Handling

Americans give Trump worse marks on his handling of the economic recovery from the pandemic specifically than on the economy overall (a net -7 approval rating compared to a net -1 approval rating).

  • Among independents, Trump breaks even on his handling of the economy overall (46% approve/46% disapprove), but he is at net -15 on his handling of the economic recovery (38% approve/53% disapprove).

Support for New Economic Relief Rising Since June

Seven in ten say we need additional relief to help people who have lost their jobs, up 11 points since early June.

  • Among independents, the share who say we need additional economic relief is up 16 points since June 8 (from 57% to 73%) and among Republicans, the share has grown 21 points (from 36% to 57%).

Public Overwhelmingly Supports a $2.4 Trillion Relief Package and Blame GOP More Than Democrats for Lack of a Deal

Four in five support Congress passing a new round of economic relief right now, and Americans blame Trump and Republicans in Congress more than Democrats in Congress for lack of progress on additional coronavirus relief.

  • When last asked September 21, 44% blamed Democrats and 45% Trump and Republicans for lack of progress.

Two Thirds Say Trump Wrong to Halt Relief Negotiations

Just 19% of the public believes Trump was right to halt negotiations for the next round of coronavirus relief.

  • On a separate question, 68% say they have heard “a lot” or “some” about the latest status of economic relief negotiations in response to the pandemic, including 62% of independents.