Confidence Growing: 42% Now Believe Worst of Pandemic Is Behind Us, 28% Disagree

Forty-two percent (42%) of voters now believe the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 28% disagree and believe the worst is still to come.

That’s the most optimistic assessment yet. Until very recently, a majority or plurality of voters had said the worst is still to come in every survey dating back nearly a year. As recently as late November, 68% believed that the worst was still to come. At that time, only 18% believed the worst was behind us.

However, the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines dramatically decreased the levels of pessimism. By late January, 33% of voters believed the worst of the pandemic was behind us, while 40% believed the worst was still to come. Then, two weeks ago, 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.

The latest numbers show that 73% of voters have either received the vaccine or know someone who has.

Other data from the survey shows that 40% of voters believe the Biden Administration will move too slowly to re-open society. Thirty-five percent (35%) fear they will move too fast. Sixty-five percent (65%) of Republicans fear the Biden team will wait too long while 51% of Democrats fear they will move too fast.

Looking back, 50% of voters believe many states and cities overreacted to the coronavirus pandemic in ways that did more harm than good. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 37% disagree and 13% are not sure.

Republicans, by a 56% to 22% margin, now believe the worst is behind us. Democrats are evenly divided on the question. Among Independents, 38% say the worst is behind us while 29% believe it is still to come.

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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen,, 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 March 4-6, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 237 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, 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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