PR pulse: Impact of COVID-19 on voter sentiment, political attitudes

by | Apr 28, 2020 | Covid-19, Public Relations

New research from AI-driven data and intelligence provider Resonate provides unprecedented insights into how the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is fundamentally changing the political attitudes and leanings of American consumers.

“The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has thrown the anticipated political landscape into chaos, and candidates and political organizations are struggling to understand and adapt to a new voter landscape, where conventional issues are put on the back-burner,” said Bryan Gernert, chief executive officer of Resonate, in a news release. “At Resonate, we have the ability to instantly tap into the American psyche, at scale, to uncover the real impact of COVID-19 on voter sentiment. This helps candidates and political organizations understand and engage key voter segments, in real-time, with highly tailored, compelling messaging.”

Sample insights from the wide-reaching survey include the following:

Consumer sentiment and behavior

Eighty percent of people are more worried about their financial health vs. their physical health. Many consumers still aren’t taking social distancing seriously. Two-thirds (65 percent) of people say they’ve left their home 1-3 times in the past week to visit a store, restaurant, or other retail establishment. Eighteen percent have done so 4 or more times, with only 17 percent saying they have not left home for those reasons at all.

Media habits

Seventy percent of people are either constantly or regularly consuming news on a daily basis. Local news is the primary outlet for COVID-19 news among 21 percent of consumers, with Facebook in second place at 12 percent of consumers, 9 percent use CNN as their top outlet, and 8 percent turn to Fox News.

Political issues

As a result of their experience with COVID-19, 55 percent of people say they’re now more supportive of enhancing free meal programs in schools; 59 percent are more supportive of enhancing unemployment coverage; 42 percent are more supportive of expanding existing safety net programs (food stamps, rent subsidies); and 25 percent are more supportive of replacing all private health insurance with Medicare for All.

“This recent survey represents a first-of-its-kind effort to help candidates and political organizations understand and tangibly navigate the American attitude and behavior shifts brought about by this pandemic,” continued Gernert. “It is important for the American political system to keep moving forward in this important election year, which is why we are offering this data free of charge to all organizations.”

The Resonate Coronavirus Flash Study—the largest, most comprehensive of its kind to date—posed more than 100 questions to nearly 5,000 Americans to evaluate how they are viewing and adapting to the current crisis when it comes to their political sentiments and decision-making.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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