37% Believe Worst of Pandemic Behind Us; Lowest Since January

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us. That’s down nineteen points over the past six weeks and the lowest level of optimism since late January.

A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 33% take the opposite view and think the worst is still to come. Thirty percent (30%) are not sure.

Confidence fell significantly among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. However, Republicans remain far more upbeat than other voters. By a 49% to 26% margin, Republicans tend to believe the worst is behind us. Democrats, by a 39% to 31% margin, take the opposite view. Among Independent voters, 23% believe the worst is behind us while 34% believe the worst is yet to come.

Throughout 2020, public confidence about the pandemic resembled a roller-coaster ride.

  • Optimism bounced up and down between August and October.
  • Following the election last fall, confidence fell sharply. In late November, 68% believed that the worst was still to come. However, following the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, confidence surged.[1]
  • By late January, 33% of voters believed the worst of the pandemic was behind us, while 40% believed the worst was still to come.[1]
  • Then, in mid-February, for the first time ever, a plurality of voters believed that the worst was behind us. At that point, 39% took the optimistic view, while 31% gave a more pessimistic answer.[1]
  • After that surge, the trend of growing confidence appeared to stall. From mid-February to mid-April, there was little change in public confidence.[1]
  • Beginning in mid-April, optimism soared once again.[1]
  • Now, these latest numbers suggest we are witnessing the biggest drop in confidence since last summer.

By a 46% to 31% margin, those who say they will never get vaccinated say the worst is behind us. Those who have been vaccinated are somewhat less upbeat. Still, by a 37% to 32% margin, vaccinated voters narrowly tend to think the worst is behind us. However, 36% to 30% margin, those who are vaccine reluctant believe the worst is yet to come.

Vaccine-reluctant voters include those who want to wait and see how it works before getting vaccinated and those who are in no particular rush to get vaccinated. These results may suggest a significant difference of opinion between those who will never get vaccinated and those who are reluctant to do so at this time.

Data released yesterday show that vaccine reluctant voters are strongly opposed to President Biden’s call for a door-to-door campaign designed to encourage more vaccinations.

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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left more than seven years ago and has had no involvement since that time.


The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 15-17, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 179 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Online respondents were selected from a list of Registered Voters and through a process of Random Digital Engagement. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, 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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