Plurality Now Believes Worst of Pandemic is Yet to Come

Thirty-four percent (34%) of voters now believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us. That’s  down three points from a week ago and 22 points over the past two months.

A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 38% of voters believe the worst is still to come. That’s up five points from a week ago and up 18 points since late May.

This is the first time since the vaccine rollout in January that a plurality of voters has said the worst is yet to come.

While confidence among all segments of the population has fallen over the past two months, the decline is sharpest among Democrats, and Independents.

Compared to last week, the Republican numbers are essentially unchanged.  By a 50% to 25% margin, GOP voters tend to believe the worst is behind us.

However, 47% of Democrats now believe the worst is yet to come, up eight points from a week ago. Just 26% of those in President Biden’s party believe the worst is behind us.

Among Independent voters, 45% believe the worst is yet to come. That’s up 11 points over the past week.

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.
  • 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, 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.
  • After that surge, the trend of growing confidence appeared to stall. From mid-February to mid-April, there was little change in public confidence.
  • Beginning in mid-April, optimism soared once again.
  • Confidence peaked in late May and we are now witnessing the biggest drop in confidence since last summer.

Data released last week showed that vaccine reluctant voters are strongly opposed to President Biden’s call for a door-to-door campaign. They are the target audience for an effort designed to encourage more vaccinations.

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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 July 22-24, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 271were 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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