Most Americans Are Concerned About Coronavirus Impact on the Economy—A Worry That Could Sway Elections, Polls Show

A majority of Americans are very concerned about the economic impact caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll.

The poll, which was conducted by FiveThirtyEight, shows that 57 percent of U.S. adults say that they are "very" concerned about the coronavirus's impact on the American economy, while 29.7 percent said that they were "somewhat concerned," 8.7 percent said that they were "not very" concerned and 3.3 percent said that they were "not at all" concerned.

The poll also found that the level of concern regarding the novel coronavirus's impact on the American economy has increased as the virus has spread. When President Donald Trump first declared the virus a national emergency on March 13, the poll found that only 34.1 percent of Americans said that they were very worried about the economy. The number saw its biggest spike on March 29 when 63.4 percent of Americans answered similarly.

Coronavirus in U.S.
Traders work on the floor during the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange on March 9, 2020 in New York. Timothy A. Clary/Getty

Since the number of U.S. deaths surpassed 10,000 on April 6, around 55 percent to 57 percent of Americans have said that they are very worried about the virus's impact on the country's economy.

While speaking with Newsweek, Stephen Wu, a professor of economics at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, detailed some of the reasons why he thinks that Americans are concerned about the economy despite a number of states beginning to lift their restrictions and reopen their economies.

"There is still tremendous uncertainty about how many consumers will actually be willing to go out to restaurants, go shopping or travel away from home. So, even though regulations are being lifted, this does not mean that people's spending habits will suddenly return to normal," Wu wrote in an email to Newsweek. "Many Americans are also worried about a second or third wave of infections that would necessitate governments to close things down again and potentially be even more damaging to the economy in the long run."

The findings of this poll could play a potential role in the upcoming elections, as the way Trump handles the economy and the outbreak of the virus, could change the views of some voters. A similar poll also produced by FiveThirtyEight shows American's approval ratings of Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

FiveThirtyEight compiled nationwide polls conducted since early February and found that a majority of Americans, 57 percent, disapproved of the way Trump is handling the crisis. On the other hand, 44.3 percent said that they approve of Trump's handling.

The results of this poll varied drastically when looking at specific political party affiliation. According to the poll, a majority of Republicans, 84.4 percent said that they approve of Trump's handling of the coronavirus.

This number decreased greatly when looking at Democrats with only 14.1 percent saying that they approve of the president's handling of the pandemic. The poll also found that 40.5 percent of Independents answered similarly.

The remaining percentages from each party who said they disapprove of the president's handling of the virus were not reported in the poll.

The new coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19, continues to spread across the U.S., which has remained the virus's epicenter. According to a tracker provided by Johns Hopkins University, there are currently over 1.1 million confirmed cases in the U.S., as well as at least 68,285 deaths. The tracker also shows that at least 180,303 Americans have already recovered from the virus.