Pandemic Pessimism Growing Once Again: Just 32% Say Worst is Behind Us and 40% Fear it Is Still to Come

The latest numbers on the pandemic show that 32% now believe the worst is behind us. That’s down eight points from a week ago and 14 points from a month ago.

A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 40% now believe the worst is yet to come. These numbers reflect rising pessimism. It’s the first time in two months that more voters expressed the negative view rather than the positive option.

Just 27% of women believe the worst is behind us while 43% believe the worst is still to come. Men are evenly divided.

Perceptions about the pandemic have varied over time. When the lockdowns first began, a majority of voters believed the pandemic would end by Memorial Day 2020.

In 2021, optimism rose when the vaccines became available. By May, 56% believed the worst was behind us. However, confidence fell over the summer with the arrival of the Delta variant. By July, 28% still believed the worst had already come and gone. Confidence began to grow again in early October before falling again in November.

Data released earlier showed that 49% of voters believe relaxing vaccine mandates, mask requirements, and social distancing guidelines would be good for the economy. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 30% disagree.

Other data shows that 59% of voters favor relaxing vaccine mandates to ease supply chain issues. Additionally, 61% favor relaxing vaccine mandates for police officers, fire fighters, and health care workers.

These findings, along with other data, provide a sense that support for the mandates is soft. Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters now say they favor the mandates. That’s down six points over the past two months.

to receive Scott’s free email newsletter.

CHECK OUT Scott’s latest polls.

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.

Question 1:

Which of the following best describes your reaction to taking the COVID vaccine?

67%     I have already been vaccinated.

6%     I want to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

6%    I want to wait and see how it works before getting vaccinated.

7%    I’m in no particular rush to get vaccinated.

13%    I will never get vaccinated.

2%    Not sure

Question 2

Is the worst of the pandemic behind us, or is it still to come?

32%    Behind us

40%    Still to come

28%    Not sure


The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted online by Scott Rasmussen on December 1-3, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. 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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged

Scott's Newsletter
Sign up for Scott's newsletter and get his political insight delivered right to your inbox!