Last week’s report on unemployment underscored the catastrophic impact the coronavirus outbreak has had on the U.S. economy. The focus in many states has now turned to reopening businesses and getting people back to work. However, most Americans – including 68% of those who have lost their jobs or taken a cut in pay due to the coronavirus outbreak – are concerned that state governments will lift restrictions tooquickly, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. A similar share of Americans whose jobs were not affected say the same (69%). On the other hand, only about three-in-ten U.S. adults in these categories expressed more concern that restrictions would not be lifted quickly enough.
Republicans and Democrats differ overall in their desire to reopen the economy. But within each party, those who have lost their jobs or seen a reduction in wages are no more likely to want to reopen quickly. Among Republicans and those who lean to the Republican Party, people who have experienced job or wage loss are about evenly split: 45% say their greater concern is that state governments will lift restrictions too quickly, while 54% say their bigger concern is states not lifting restrictions quickly enough. Views of Republicans who have not had a change in their jobs follow a similar pattern (47% worry about opening too quickly, 52% worry about not opening quickly enough).
The vast majority of Democrats and those who lean Democratic, regardless of the impact that the coronavirus epidemic has had on their employment, say their greatest concern is that state governments will lift restrictions too quickly. About eight-in-ten or more Democrats who have lost their jobs or taken a pay cut (83%) and those who have not (88%) say this.
White evangelical Protestants are President Donald Trump’s most supportive religious constituency, but they are slightly less positive about his response to the coronavirus pandemic now than they were in March, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The decline comes as recommendations for social distancing in the United States stretch into a third month and Americans overall express waning confidence in how the president and public health officials are handling the crisis.
Three-quarters of white evangelical Protestants say Trump is doing an excellent (43%) or good job (32%) responding to the outbreak, according to the survey, conducted April 29 to May 5 among 10,957 U.S. adults. No other religious group comes close to evaluating the president so positively. Even so, the share of white evangelicals who give Trump positive marks for his handling of the crisis is 6 percentage points lower today than when the question was last asked in a survey conducted March 19 to 24.
The U.S. Postal Service consistently tops the favorability list in Pew Research Center’s periodic surveys of public views of government agencies. This year, 91% of Americans – and equal 91% shares of Democrats and Republicans – had a favorable view of the agency.
But the Postal Service, already in a deep financial hole, now finds itself caught in a political firestorm. President Donald Trump has long claimed that package shippers, particularly online retailers such as Amazon, aren’t paying enough. He has blocked a $10 billion congressionally approved emergency loan to the cash-strapped agency; threatened to veto any future emergency funds unless the Postal Service quadruples its package shipping prices; and named one of his major donors as the new postmaster general.
Democrats, many outside analysts, Postal Service advocates and the agency itself dispute Trump’s contention that low package rates are the main driver of its money woes. They say that without relief, the Postal Service could run out of operating cash as soon as this fall. A coalition of retailers plans a $2 million lobbying and ad campaign to oppose Trump’s plans and support a massive rescue package.
How has the Postal Service, which turns 50 next year, wound up in such a predicament? We crunched the numbers to find out.
Most Americans say they need to take breaks from COVID-19 news. But that doesn’t mean they are avoiding the topic completely. In fact, 44% of U.S. adults say they are discussing the coronavirus outbreak with other people most or almost all of the time, whether online, in person or over the phone, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted April 20 to 26.
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Overall, 31% of adults say they are discussing the outbreak with other people most of the time, while another 13% say they are talking about it almost all the time, according to the late April survey, which was conducted as part of the Center’s American News Pathways project. The largest share of Americans (45%) say they sometimes discuss the coronavirus outbreak with other people, while 11% say they hardly ever or never discuss it with others.
President Donald Trump has described himself as a defender of religious liberty. But how do Americans perceive the Trump administration’s effect on various religious groups?
On balance, Americans are most likely to say the administration has helped evangelical Christians and that it has hurt Muslims, according to a February Pew Research Center survey. Opinions about the Trump administration’s impact on Jews are more mixed.
More than four-in-ten U.S. adults (43%) say the Trump administration has helped evangelical Christians, though a similar share (44%) say the administration has had no effect on this group. Just 11% of Americans say the Trump administration has hurt evangelical Christians.
May 8 marks the 75th anniversary of V-E Day, when World War II came to an end in Europe. In the United States, V-E Day commemorations will honor the 16 million Americans who served during the war, even as only a small share of those veterans are alive today.
A sizable majority of Americans (68%) continue to say their greater concern is that state governments will lift coronavirus-related restrictions on public activity too quickly. Fewer than half as many (31%) say their greater concern is that states will not lift restrictions quickly enough, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that comes as some states begin to ease the restrictions they put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Overall, the public’s views on this question are little changed since early April, though they are somewhat more divided along partisan and ideological lines. Republicans, especially conservative Republicans, have become more concerned that the state restrictions will not be lifted quickly enough, while a growing share of Democrats worry more that they will be lifted too quickly.
Meanwhile, when Americans are asked about the restrictions on public activity in their area, about half (48%) say that the current number of restrictions is about right. The remainder are split between those who believe there should be more restrictions than there are right now (27%) and those who believe there should be fewer (24%), according to the survey, conducted April 29 to May 5 among 10,957 U.S. adults on the Center’s American Trends Panel. Read More →
One-third of Americans (33%) have experienced high levels of psychological distress at some point during the extended period of social distancing undertaken to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. More than half (55%) of adults who describe their financial situation as poor have experienced high levels of distress, as have half of those who report having a disability or handicap that keeps them from fully participating in work, school or other activities.
To help track and assess the mental health consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak, Pew Research Center asked members of its American Trends Panel in both March and April how often in the past seven days they had experienced five different types of psychological distress (such as anxiety, sleeplessness or depression). Based on responses to these questions, panelists were placed into three categories of psychological distress: high, medium or low. Because the questions were administered to the same individuals twice (once between March 19-24 and again between April 20-26) it is possible to see who changed and by how much. (See this analysis for more details about the questions and the index.)
Asian Americans are the fastest-growing segment of eligible voters out of the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States. More than 11 million will be able to vote this year, making up nearly 5% of the nation’s eligible voters (for this analysis, U.S. citizens ages 18 and older). They are also the only major racial or ethnic group in which naturalized citizens – rather than the U.S. born – make up a majority of eligible voters, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.
From 2000 to 2020, the number of Asian American eligible voters more than doubled, growing by 139%. The Hispanic electorate grew at a similar rate (121%), but the black and white electorates grew far more slowly (33% and 7%).
Naturalized immigrants have driven the Asian electorate’s rapid growth. (When an immigrant naturalizes and becomes a U.S. citizen, they are eligible to vote in federal elections.) Between 2000 and 2018 – the most recent year available – the number of Asian immigrant eligible voters doubled from 3.3 million to 6.9 million. As of 2018, naturalized citizens accounted for about two-thirds of all U.S. Asian eligible voters. Read More →
During the early stages of the outbreak’s economic fallout, 90% of the decrease in employment – or 2.6 million of the total loss of 2.9 million between February and March – arose from positions that could not be teleworked, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of federal government data.
While many workers could no longer wait tables or give haircuts, others – especially those with college degrees – could go online and continue to teach, deliver sermons or trade stocks.
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.