Pessimism Growing: 62% Believe Worst of Pandemic Still to Come

Pessimism about the pandemic has risen in recent weeks. A Political IQ survey found that 62% of voters now believe the worst of the pandemic is still to come. That’s up six points from a month ago. It’s also just one point shy of the high-water mark for pessimism recorded in July.

In July, however, just 15% thought the worst was behind us. That figure is 22% today.

Throughout August and September, weekly polling showed pessimism about the pandemic gradually declining. During September, fewer than half believed the worst was yet to come. However, that all changed following news that President Trump tested positive for COVID-19.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of Republicans now believe the worst is behind us. However, 80% of Democrats and 19% of independents believe the worst is still to come.

The table below highlights selected results showing trends over the past few months.

Worst of Pandemic is Behind Us Worst of Pandemic is Still to Come
Oct. 15-17 22% 56%
Oct. 8-10 27% 52%
Oct. 1-3 24% 55%
Sept. 3-5 29% 49%
Aug. 13-15 20% 59%
July 23-25 15% 63%
June 4-6 29% 42%
April 9-11 16% 60%

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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 November 12-14, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 276 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 to the larger 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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