Public Opinion on Coronavirus: 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 1,013 registered voters conducted June 18-22, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • Americans are “exhausted” and “angry,” though a growing number feel “engaged and interested in taking action”
  • Majorities continue to support the protests following the death of George Floyd and disapprove of the police response to them.
  • A majority support repealing tax breaks for the 1%, and three in five say that taxing the wealthiest Americans and corporations would help with the economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic.

Public Is “Exhausted,” “Angry,” “Upset” – But Growing Share Are “Engaged and Interested in Taking Action”

Top descriptors respondents choose to describe their current emotional state about politics across party lines are “exhausted,” “angry,” and “upset.”

  • The share who say they are “engaged and interested in taking action” has increased 8 points since June 8, from
    29% to 37%. Among Democrats, the share has increased 4 points since June 8 (from 36% to 40%) and among
    Republicans, 12 points (from 24% to 36%).

Groups Especially “Exhausted”: Younger, Female

Those who over-index on feeling “exhausted” include younger Americans and women.

  • Groups that are less likely to say they feel “exhausted” include men (47%), Americans ages 45-64 (48%), and Americans 65 and older (39%).

Majorities Continue to Support Protests, Disapprove of Police

In each of our updates over the last three weeks, more than three in five Americans have supported the protests following George Floyd’s death, and more than half have disapproved of the police response to these protests.

More Oppose Than Support Republican Tax Law, Though Growing Share Unsure

Support for the Republican tax law continues to be slightly underwater, with net support at -3 overall. At the same time, the share who are “not sure” has grown 12 points since October 2019.

  • The share who are not sure among Democrats has grown 13 points (from 22% to 35%), and among Republicans, it has grown 11 points (from 19% to 30%) since October 2019.

A Plurality Say 2017 Republican Tax Law Has Had No Personal Impact

While roughly two in five across party lines say the Republican tax law passed in 2017 has had no effect on their personal finances, Democrats and independents are more likely to say it has made their finances worse than better.

  • Only a third (34%) of Republicans say the tax law has improved their personal finances.

Just a Third Now Say the Republican Tax Law Has Improved Economy and Job Market

The share of Americans who feel that the Republican tax law has improved the overall economy has dropped 10
points since October 2019.

  • Among Republicans, the share since October 2019 who say it has improved the economy and job market has dropped 18 points (from 77% to 59%).

More Than Half Support Repealing Tax Breaks for the Top 1%

A majority support repealing tax breaks for the top 1% passed in the pandemic economic relief package, and nearly a
third “strongly support” their repeal – more than the share overall who oppose.

  • Even among Republicans who watch Fox News, 53% support repealing these tax breaks, including 20% who “strongly support.”

Majorities Think Taxing the Wealthiest Americans Will Help the Economic Recovery

Three in five say raising taxes on the “wealthiest” or those “making more than $400,000” will help the economy.

  • When using language of “the wealthiest” and “corporations” rather than those “making more than $400,000,” there is a 5-point increase in the share who think increasing taxes will help the economic recovery.