This morning Ed wrote about the dramatic drop in Q1 GDP and the fear of what that might mean next quarter. A poll published today by NPR/Marist suggests just how widely the pain is being felt, with fully half of Americans surveyed saying that they or someone in their household has lost a job or lost income.
Fifty percent of Americans said they or someone in their household has either lost hours or a job because of the coronavirus, up from 18% a month ago. And the pandemic is having a harsher economic effect on people of color, those without a college degree, younger people and those who make less money.
Of nonwhites, 60% said they or someone in their household has lost hours or a job, compared with 43% of whites. In addition, 55% percent of those without a degree, those under 45 and those making less than $50,000 a year said so.
“There are few households in the country that haven’t been affected by this crisis, through health, through school, through jobs, from all walks of life, from all backgrounds,” said Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll, which conducted the survey. “No one has really gone untouched.
Given the widespread impact you might guess that this is driving many people to push for a reopening of states and restarting of the economy. That clearly is happening in many places around the country, but this poll found an overwhelming majority are still not ready to return to life as normal:
Eighty percent or more of people who responded do not want schools, restaurants or large sporting events to start taking place as normal again until there is further testing. And two-thirds don’t want Americans to physically go back to work without that widespread testing, but a majority of Republicans do.
Here’s a chart which summarizes the data overall:
There is a divide when you look at the same data broken down by party. For instance, 94% of Democrats think it’s a bad idea to send kids back to school compared to 71% of Republicans. For sporting events, 97% of Dems and 83% of Republicans say restarting them would be a bad idea. The most significant difference comes on the question of returning to work where 84% of Dems say it’s a bad idea while only 47% of Republicans agree. In fact, 51% of Republicans think it’s a good idea to get people back to work.
As for President Trump’s handling of the crisis, his numbers dropped slightly this month but he’s still above water:
Later the poll asked respondents who they would rather have handling the crisis. Democrats chose Biden over Trump 87% to 8% while Republicans said the reverse by 87% to 11 percent. More or less a tie except that slightly more Democrats remain undecided. Like with a lot of polling this is probably based on party affiliation as much as anything else. What exactly has Joe Biden done during the crisis besides talk about it from his rec room?