Public Opinion on Coronavirus: Navigator Daily

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 is a dynamic time, and as a result, Navigator will transition to a daily tracking poll on the coronavirus crisis. For the foreseeable future, we will be tracking public opinion every weekday, releasing on a Tuesday-Saturday schedule. In addition, future editions will provide more messaging guidance to the progressive community. 

This edition of our daily tracking release features findings from a national online survey of 1,003 registered voters conducted April 1-April 6, 2020 and a combined data set of Navigator Daily tracking of 1,676 registered voters conducted March 30-April 6, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • Ratings of the economy are significantly underwater and a majority feel Trump’s response favors the wealthy.
  • Republicans are just as concerned about a possible recession as Democrats and independents.
  • Americans are worried about their personal finances and report making tough financial decisions as a result.

Trump Has Yet to Return to Coronavirus Approval High

Americans remain evenly divided on how Trump is handling the coronavirus pandemic.

  • This marks our third consecutive update where Trump is underwater (-16) with independents. This is a net change of 23 points from our March 23rd update, where independents were at +7.
  • 36% of Americans say they “strongly disapprove” of his handling while only 25% say they ”strongly approve.”

Majority Feel Trump’s Response Favors Wealthy

Belief that Trump’s policies favor the wealthy and big corporations over working class Americans has increased from a net of +5 on March 23rd to a net of +21 in today’s update.

  • African Americans (74%) are even more likely to say his economic policies favor the wealthy and big corporations, up 22 points from 52% two weeks ago.

Three in Four Americans Rate the Economy Negatively

75% of Americans now rate the economy as “not so good” or “poor,” including a majority of 2016 Trump voters (55%) and Republicans (58%).

A Recession is Top of Mind for Americans

While many of Americans’ biggest concerns amidst the pandemic are about their health, the economy entering a recession is also a top worry.

  • Republicans (84%) are the most worried about the economy falling into a recession, followed by Democrats (82%) and independents (75%).

Americans are Uneasy About Their Personal Finances

A majority of Americans (52%) say they feel uneasy about their personal financial situation over the next few months.

  • Women (57%) are more likely than men (46%) to say they are uneasy about their personal finances.
  • Most Hispanics (62%) and 58% of Americans who recently worked in the service sector (58%) feel the same.

A Third of American Households Experiencing Job Loss

A third of Americans (34%) say they have either personally lost their job or have had a family member lose their job due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The majority of Hispanics (57%) say they have either lost their job or have had a family member lose their job, while 32% of whites without a four-year college degree say the same.

The Uneven Impact of Coronavirus Job Loss

African Americans (64%) and Hispanics (83%) are more worried than white Americans (57%) about losing their job or having a family member lose their job.

  • Americans who most recently worked in the service industry are also particularly worried about personally losing a job or a family member losing their job (68%).

Tough Financial Decisions, on Both Sides of the Partisan Divide

A majority (52%) of Americans say they are putting off major purchases in response to the pandemic.

  • This is a 10-point increase since our March 23rd update, where 42% of Americans said they were putting off major purchases.
  • Nearly half of Republicans (47%) and independents (50%) say they are putting off making major purchases in response to the coronavirus pandemic.