Mar 10, 2020 - Health

Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to view coronavirus coverage as exaggerated

Data: SurveyMonkey online survey. (Margin of error ±2 points.) Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

There are potentially pernicious partisan gaps on how Americans view the coronavirus outbreak and the media coverage, according to a new Axios-Survey Monkey poll.

The big picture: 62% of Republicans said news reports about the illness are "generally exaggerated" — double the 31% of Democrats who feel the same way.

By the numbers: Overall, 39% of American adults see the virus as "easily spread," with Democrats more likely to say so than Republicans.

  • Approximately 22% of Americans surveyed view a federal mandate for anyone exposed to the virus as a threat to their personal rights.
  • Democrats are also more likely to avoid public spaces than Republicans.

Go deeper ... Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 4,000 as U.S. cases rise

Go deeper

ACA mandate repeal may be less popular than GOP thinks

The tax bill that just passed the Senate eliminates the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, and the House is likely to go along when Congress writes the final version. With the tax legislation moving so quickly and the mandate lost in the maze of so many other consequential provisions, we are not likely to have much public debate about this big change in health policy.

Poll: Americans' access to necessities worsens

Data: Axios/Ipsos survey of 1,092 U.S. adults, conducted March 13-16, 2020. Margin of error of ±3.2 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

Even with the brunt of store closings yet to take effect, a full 45% of Americans said last week that their ability to buy food and household goods had deteriorated, according the newly launched Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

What it is: A weekly poll introduced last week by Axios and the global research firm Ipsos will monitor the effects of the global pandemic on people's attitudes and living conditions.

Most believe employers over government on coronavirus

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Most people say they are more likely to believe their employers than government websites or traditional or social media when it comes to information about the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Edelman Trust Barometer survey about the virus.

Why it matters: Absent consistent information from the government about the virus, and amid growing skepticism around fake news online, people are turning to business leaders for critical information.