A collection of materials on framing, messaging, and public opinion

Opportunity in Crisis: New Polling on Public Opinion Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic


July 2021. In the early months of the pandemic, JFI researchers fielded a nationally representative survey investigating how the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19 had begun to influence Americans’ attitudes towards government policy. Was this extraordinary crisis opening space for novel policy ideas to take root? Had the ambitious federal response shifted long-held views on government intervention in the economy? On cash relief? 

Using the Qualtrics platform, our researchers collected data from 2,200 respondents in 825 U.S. Counties between May 5th and June 9th, 2020. The survey was nationally representative on age, six, race, ethnicity, education, income, political affiliation, and region, as indicated by the American Community Survey and the American National Election Survey.

Three research briefs, the first of which was published July 16, 2021, outline some of our most timely results, specifically:

  • Were those most impacted by COVID-19 likelier to support government interventions in public health and economic stimulus?
  • In light of the pandemic, are conservatives more open to the concept of a basic income? Do their preferences shift in light of socio-demographic characteristics or specific aspects of such a policy?
  • Does risk aversion outweigh ideology when it comes to support for government programs like a basic income?

A formal paper, to follow, will analyze the complete set of results.

Brief one: Opportunity in Crisis: COVID-19 and Preferences for Social Policy

Brief two: Shades of Red: Assessing the Spectrum of Republican Preferences for Basic Income

Brief three: Risk Attitudes Mitigate the Effects of Political Ideology on Social Values and Support for Universal Basic Income

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