The coronavirus outbreak has prompted several states to postpone their presidential primaries, citing restrictions on public gatherings. While the postponements will affect people of all ages, they may be particularly relevant for older adults, who tend to account for large shares of both poll workers and voters in general elections in the United States.
In the 2018 general election, around six-in-ten U.S. poll workers (58%) were ages 61 and older, including roughly a quarter (27%) who were over 70, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data from that year’s Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS), a biennial study of states’ administration of federal elections. (This data does not include all states; for more information about the methodology and limitations of this data, see “How we did this.”)
The same pattern appeared in earlier elections. In the 2016 general election, people ages 61 and older accounted for 56% of poll workers, according to that year’s EAVS report.
Americans’ levels of social trust are linked to the emotions they are experiencing during the coronavirus outbreak and their judgments about how different groups are responding to the pandemic, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted March 19-24.
Other factors are at play, too. Recent Center reports have shown that older people, white adults and those with higher household incomes or more education are more likely than others to have had less negative emotional reactions to the outbreak, and they are judging the performance of others more positively. Those earlier reports can be found here, here, here, here and here.
This survey finds that about a third of Americans (35%) register low levels of trust in other people, compared with 29% who are “high trusters” and 32% who are “medium trusters.” Read More →
Canadians and Mexicans give different answers when they are asked for the first word that comes to mind when thinking about the United States. President Donald Trump’s name is by far the most frequently mentioned word among Canadians, followed by a range of primarily negative descriptors. Mexicans mention Trump, too, but more often cite words related to economics, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in spring 2019. The survey was conducted before the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has potentially affected the lens through which people view the U.S.
The list of top words mentioned by Canadians in an open-ended format includes “Trump” and “president,” followed by negative words including “chaos,” “confused” and “bully.” The most commonly mentioned words by Mexicans include “money,” “work” and “migration,” alongside more negative words like “discrimination” and “racism.”
As several states postpone their presidential primaries amid the coronavirus outbreak, most voters say the delay was a necessary move – and similar shares say they would personally feel uncomfortable going to a polling place to vote.
Nearly seven-in-ten registered voters say postponing state primary elections has been a necessary step to address the coronavirus outbreak, according to a Pew Research Center survey. This includes about two-thirds of Republican voters (64%) and 71% of Democratic voters.
The survey, conducted March 19-24 – just after Ohio announced it would delay its primary – also finds that majorities of voters who are Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (68%) would personally feel uncomfortable visiting a polling place to cast their ballot. A smaller majority of Republicans and Republican leaners – who do not have a competitive primary this year – also say they would feel uncomfortable (58%). As of today, a total of 15 states have delayed their primaries. Notably, the Wisconsin primary remains scheduled for April 7.
Hispanics are more likely than Americans overall to say they or someone in their household has experienced a pay cut or lost their job because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted March 19-24.
Around half (49%) of Hispanics say they or someone in their household has taken a pay cut or lost a job – or both – because of the COVID-19 outbreak, compared with 33% of all U.S. adults. Among both Hispanics and the wider public, more people say someone has experienced a pay cut or a reduction in work hours than say someone was laid off or lost a job (40% vs. 29% among Hispanics, 27% vs. 20% among all Americans). A recent Center analysis found about 8 million Hispanic workers were employed in restaurants, hotels and other service-sector positions that are at higher risk of job loss. Read More →
Americans’ opinions of Pope Francis have rebounded slightly after hitting an all-time low almost two years ago in the wake of Catholic Church sex abuse scandals, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Six-in-ten U.S. adults say they have a “very” or “mostly” favorable view of Pope Francis, up from roughly half who said this in September of 2018, when the question was last asked. At that time, a Pennsylvania grand jury had just published a report revealing decades of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, and former cardinal Theodore McCarrick had recently resigned because of separate sex abuse allegations.
Overall, public opinion of Pope Francis is now roughly at the same level as when he assumed the papacy in 2013, but still below higher points in 2015 and 2017, when 70% of U.S. adults said they had a “very” or “mostly” favorable view of the pontiff. Read More →
More than half of all tweets sent by members of the U.S. Congress between March 11 and 21 were related to the coronavirus outbreak, reflecting a dramatic increase since late January, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis. The surge in Twitter activity is one reflection of the extent to which COVID-19 has dominated discussion among lawmakers on Capitol Hill in recent weeks.
All told, members of Congress posted more than 27,000 tweets related to the virus or the events surrounding the outbreak from Jan. 22 through March 21.
These posts accounted for 19% of all congressional tweets sent during a time period that also included President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, the Iowa caucuses and the “Super Tuesday” presidential primaries. Read More →
People in the United States and around the world are turning to the internet to do their work and stay connected with others as the COVID-19 outbreak forces people to stay home and away from the office and crowds. A median of 77% across 34 countries use the internet at least occasionally or own an internet-enabled smartphone, according to a spring 2019 Pew Research Center survey. But there are stark digital divides. Younger people, those with higher incomes and those in wealthier countries are more likely to be digital technology users. Many people surveyed also use social media, but social media usage is not ubiquitous, even in economically advanced nations like Germany and Japan.
Here are eight charts on digital connectivity worldwide. Read More →
The movement of people across borders has come to a standstill in much of the world as countries close their borders to visitors – and sometimes their own citizens – in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
At least nine-tenths (91%) of the world’s population, or 7.1 billion people, lives in countries with restrictions on people arriving from other countries who are neither citizens nor residents, such as tourists, business travelers and new immigrants. Roughly 3 billion people, or 39%, live in countries with borders completely closed to noncitizens and nonresidents, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of border closure announcements and United Nations population data.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.