Public Opinion on Coronavirus: Navigator Update

Thursday, September 17, 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 1,007 registered voters conducted September 10-14, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • While many are concerned about crime at a national level, fewer are concerned about crime in their community.
  • Americans say Trump is contributing to making protests and disorder worse by trying to divide the public to win reelection.
  • Three in five Americans are concerned by recent demeaning statements Trump has made about the military.

Americans Remain Much More Concerned About the Pandemic Than They Are About Crime

A majority remain more concerned about coronavirus infecting them and those close to them, while less than two in five are more concerned about the personal risks from rising crime around the country.

  • African Americans (63%) and Hispanic Americans (58%) are more concerned about coronavirus than white Americans (53%), as are Democrats (72%) more so than Republicans (33%).

Public Worried About Virus, Economy, and National Crime Rates, But Far Less So About Local Crime

While violent crime around the country is a serious worry for four in five, crime “in your community” only worries about three in five.

Majority Say Trump’s Response Has Made Protests and Disorder Worse

More than half say Trump’s response to the protests and disorder has made the situation worse, while just one in six say that he has made it better.

  • A majority of suburbanites (55%) say Trump has made it worse.

Top Reasons Trump Seen As Making Disorder Worse: His Divisiveness, Escalation of Conflict

Both the public overall and independents see the top two ways Trump is making the protests and disorder in America worse is his dividing of Americans to help his reelection chances, and escalating conflict.

Democrats More Trusted Than Trump on “Reducing Violent Crime”

Democrats in Congress continue to hold a lead over the president on trust to reduce violent crime.

  • In the last two weeks among independents, there has been an 11-point increase in the share who trust Democrats in Congress more than Trump to reduce violent crime (from +2 to +13).

Majority Blames Trump More Than Democrats for Disorder

A majority of Americans say they blame Trump for the disorder in the country because it’s happening on his watch, while one in three blame Democrats more for not standing up to the “radical left.”

Americans – Especially Active Duty/Veteran Households – Are Hearing About Trump’s Disparaging Military Comments

Two in three Americans – including three in four in active duty/veteran households – report hearing “a lot” or “some” about comments The Atlantic recently reported Trump has made demeaning Americans who joined the military.

Most Americans Concerned By Trump Comments on Military

Three in five Americans find a range of statements related to Trump’s disparaging of Americans who have served in the military concerning, as do three in five in active duty/veteran households.

“Disrespectful” – What Bothers Americans About Trump’s Military Comments

The vast majority (70%) said they found at least one of the statements recently made by Trump disparaging the military concerning, focusing on his lack of respect for the military and those who have served.