Vaccine Arrival Has Dramatically Reduced Pessimism About Pandemic

The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines has dramatically decreased pessimism about the coronavirus pandemic. A Scott Rasmussen national survey conducted January 28-30 found that 33% of voters believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us while 40% believe the worst is still to come.

While the overall numbers still reflect a slightly pessimistic assessment, it’s the lowest level of pessimism ever recorded.  Additionally, the numbers represent a remarkable turnaround since vaccine distribution has become a reality. Last October, just before the presidential election, 56% of voters believed the worst was yet to come. That pessimistic view grew to 68% just a few weeks after the election and remained above 60% for the rest of the year.

So, the number with a pessimistic view has fallen 28 percentage points—from 68% to 40%– in just a couple of months.

On the flip side, the number who believe the worst is behind us has nearly doubled—from 18% in late November to 33% in late January.

Among the still relatively small number of voters who have already been vaccinated, a plurality (41%) now believes the worst is behind us.

A plurality of Republicans (43%) now believes the worst is behind us while a plurality of Democrats (48%) believes the worst 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 January 28-30, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 211 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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