26% Believe Worst of the Pandemic Behind Us

Twenty-six percent of voters (26%)believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us.  A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 55% disagree and believe the worst is still to come.

While the overall numbers reflect ongoing concern, the numbers reflect a recent burst in confidence. The number believing the worst is behind us is up six points from a week ago and 11 points since July.

Perceptions of the pandemic have sent the nation an emotional roller-coaster. In early April, as the lockdowns were getting started, just 16% thought the worst was behind us, but confidence was growing rapidly. By the end of that month, 23% thought we had gotten through the toughest moments. In May, confidence slipped back to 17% before soaring to 29% in June. That was the highest level of confidence yet measured. However, just a month later, confidence that the worst was behind us fell back to 15% in July.

For now, the roller-coaster appears headed back up again. It will be interesting to see if confidence keeps growing in the weeks to come. If it does, that would be a significant benefit to President Trump’s hopes of re-election.

As always, Republicans are more upbeat about the pandemic than anyone else. Forty-five percent (45%) of GOP voters believe the worst is behind us. That optimism is shared by 23% of Independents and 11% of Democrats. 

It is possible—probably likely—that perceptions of this question may have shifted over time. For some people the prospect that the worst is still ahead of us means we have to hunker down for a longer period of time. For others, it may mean that we need to find a way to adapt and go on living with a challenge that is going to be with us for a while.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from August 20-22, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 142 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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