State Policy Network
68 percent of Americans think coronavirus economic impact will last 7 months or more
New polling shows Americans' perspectives on the economy's health and the personal impact of coronavirus economic shutdowns.

Since March, the economy has been a top issue of concern for Americans. It’s factoring heavily into Americans’ voting decisions, and the changing season is only raising concerns about how the onset of winter will affect the physical and economic health of families across the country.  

As we head into colder months, we can expect the economic impact of shutdowns will deepen as outdoor activities become less likely. Already, Americans are reporting that they have done the following in the last three months:

A majority of Americans (68%, +3) think the lingering impact of the coronavirus to the overall economy will last seven months or more. Forty-nine percent (+3) think it will be more than a year.

When it comes to the personal impact, people are less pessimistic. Fifty-eight percent (+1) say they think the impact of the coronavirus will last seven months or more, and 42% claim it will be six months or less. Here’s how those attitudes break down across political leanings:

Public attitudes toward the health of the economy

While the number is trending upward, Americans are cautiously optimistic about the country’s economic health. Only 37% (+2 from September 30-October 1) describe the health of the US economy as excellent or good.

Perspectives on the economy tend to vary across regions and political affiliations. The following tables show the significant regional and political breakdowns within each category of total responses.

US economy is excellent/good (Total = 37%)

South Atlantic44%
West South Central41%
Pacific 36%

US economy is fair (Total = 25%)

New England35%

US economy is poor or in crisis (Total = 38%)

New England46%
East North Central43%
West North Central45%
East South Central46%
West South Central43%

What Americans think should be done…

On a federal stimulus package

When it comes to the second coronavirus stimulus package debated by Congress, 40% of Americans hold both Republicans and Democrats accountable. Twenty-seven percent hold Republicans accountable, while 20% look to Democrats.

Americans indicate slightly more trust in Democrats (36%, -1 from September 30-October 1) than Republicans (32%, -1) to develop a stimulus package.

On long-term solutions

This latest polling wave asked Americans for their opinions on which policy solutions would improve jobs and the economy. Many showed favor toward market-oriented reforms in this issue area.

About this polling

State Policy Network is working with Heart + Mind Strategies to track the American public’s opinions through this time of upheaval and change. This data was collected by Heart+Mind Strategies through an online survey conducted October 14-15, 2020 (n=1,002). It represents Wave 21 of the tracking survey, which began on March 18-19, 2020.

Organization: State Policy Network