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The Worst Is Still to Come

Saturday, August 1, 2020

From Cheryl Russell, Demo Memo

The worst is still to come. That's what most Americans think about the coronavirus pandemic. The 59% majority of the public says we haven't seen the worst of it yet, according to a Pew Research Center survey fielded on June 16-22. This is 14 percentage points below the 73% who felt this way in April. Among Democrats, 76% believe the worst is yet to come, down from 87% in April. Among Republicans, 38% think it will get worse – 18 percentage points below the 56% who felt that way in April.

Americans may be in denial about the worsening coronavirus pandemic, but businesses are not. A growing share are pessimistic about the future, according to the Census Bureau's Small Business Pulse Survey. In April, only 38% of small businesses thought it would take more than six months for their operations to return to normal. Now, a larger 50% feel that way. In Texas – a coronavirus hot spot – the ranks of the pessimists expanded from 34% in April to 52% in June.

Source: Pew Research Center, Republicans, Democrats Move Even Further Apart in Coronavirus Concerns; and Census Bureau, Small Business Pulse Survey.

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