Research / White PaperJul 08, 2020

How COVID-19 is Changing Americans’ Behaviors, Expectations, and Political Views

Marianne Bertrand, Guglielmo Briscese, Maddalena Grignani, Salma Nassar

Since the beginning of April, we have been following the same representative sample of Americans in a series of regular surveys. The longitudinal nature of the project allows us to not only track whether Americans’ views are changing, but also what might be driving such changes. We find that, while strong divisions persist across party lines, personal experiences with COVID-19, such as having lost income because of the pandemic, may affect views and preferences among Americans.

Researchers at the Poverty Lab and the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at the University of Chicago are conducting this longitudinal survey in partnership with NORC at the University of Chicago, an independent, non-partisan research institution. Below we summarize some findings from waves one through five (conducted from April 6 through May 18). The findings refer to different time frames according to the questions analyzed. Surveys are administered to the same sample of more than 1,400 Americans based on NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population.

The project consists of a total of seven survey waves beginning in April 2020 and ending in November 2020. We will continue to share our findings in subsequent posts until the end of the year.

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