McLaughlin-Poll: Americans are United Against Virus, Overwhelmingly Distrust China
Belying many of the current televised images of protests and conflict, a national survey finds that the COVID-19 pandemic has rallied Americans in a manner not seen since Sept. 11th, 2001. In addition, the pandemic now reveals an enormous distrust of China among Americans of all political stripes.
A national survey of 1,000 likely voters (+/-3.1% at 95% C.I. taken April 16th to 20th), shows a strong, bipartisan desire for national unity in this time of crisis. The pandemic has created an atmosphere where Americans want the country to come “together to confront the challenges ahead.”
The poll findings are the result of a recently completed national survey commissioned by Lawrence Kadish, real estate developer, entrepreneur, and founder of the Museum of American Armor in Old Bethpage, New York.
The survey revealed that in the wake of the coronavirus crisis American voters are rejecting partisan politics and have a strong desire for unity. This response has not seen such a majority consensus since other times of national crisis, such as the Great Depression, World War II, and Sept. 11th. Our survey shows Americans recognize national unity as critical in overcoming the challenges we face today, and the potentially worse challenges we’ll face in the future.
—The poll found that, on the coronavirus issue, the voters have no tolerance for partisan politics. When asked “is the coronavirus a . . .” Republican issue, only 9% agreed. Only 7% said it was a Democrat issue. A whopping 79% of likely voters say, “partisan politics have no role to play in the coronavirus response.” These ratings span all partisan voter segments with 78% of Republicans, 76% of Democrats, and 83% of Independents saying that there is no room for partisan politics. Politicizing the coronavirus response by elected officials risks stoking widespread voter rejection.
—An identical number of voters believe that Americans have the means to come together as they have done in past history at times of crisis. Four in five voters, 79%, say, “Americans have the means of coming together to confront the challenges ahead.” Only 14% said no. These ratings are strong across the political spectrum, as 89% of Republicans, 75% of Democrats, 74% of independents all agree. Further, even 75% of those who disapprove of the job President Trump is doing agree that Americans can join together to face these challenges. Among those who approve the job the president is doing, 87%, believe that Americans can come together.
—Nevertheless, on this point, the majority of likely voters, 57%, think that “the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic should be a determining factor when voting in the upcoming presidential election.” Only 32% of the voters said that it should not be a determining factor. Therefore, performance will matter. The coronavirus factor appears to be more important to Democrats 71%, Liberals 74%, African Americans 70%, Hispanics 65%, and college graduates 64%.
—However, the voters seem to be unsure of what the coronavirus pandemic means for America’s leadership in the world. When asked if America is at risk of losing its global leadership role as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, four in ten voters, 41% said yes. An almost equal amount, 43%, said no. Republicans, 62% to 29%, were more likely to say no, while Democrats were more likely to say yes 53% to 25%. Independents were as evenly split as the electorate – 40% said yes and 43% said no. Younger voters under age 55 years said yes 48% to 36% and older voters said no 52% to 31%, suggesting a generational split based on prior life experience.
China, the Pandemic and Geopolitics
The coronavirus pandemic has refocused voter attitudes on China regarding credibility, trade and manufacturing. Voters now favor increased American manufacturing of critical safety and technology needs here in the United States, reducing our dependence on Chinese manufacturing, and repatriating American companies back to their homeland.
—The vast majority of Americans have lost trust in China. Seventy percent (70%) think the Chinese kept their Coronavirus data a secret from international healthcare professionals. This loss of trust is the underlying factor driving voter preference for bringing American businesses and jobs now in China back to America. This loss of trust for China is widespread among voters. It’s 83% among those who approve of the job President Trump is doing, but it’s also 59% among those who disapprove of the job the president is doing. The same is true across the political parties: Republicans 84%, Democrats 58% and independents 70%. Among Hispanic voters, 64%, and among African American voters, 57%, believe that China kept coronavirus data from health care professionals.
—However, the plurality of American voters, 49%, believes China views the pandemic as a unique and strategic opportunity to advance their international agenda. Only 26% do not believe it. Republicans are more likely to believe it 68% to 16%. Independents believe this 48% to 21% and 32% of Democrats believe it.
—Three quarters of likely voters agree, 72%, that “the economic aftershocks of the pandemic in the United States require us to change our trading relationship with China.“ This agreement extends over every region of the country and across political and demographic groups: Republicans 86%, Democrats 58%, independents 74%, African Americans 60%, Hispanics 65%, voters under age 55 71%, over 55 75%, men 75% and women 70%.
—To emphasize the intensity behind changing our trading relationship with China, a full 6 of 10 voters, 59%, agree “As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, America should withdraw its manufacturing presence from China.” One-third of all voters, 31%, “strongly agree” with this statement. Conversely, only 10% “strongly disagree.” The “agree” rating increases among Republicans (74%) and voters who cite “economic issues” as most important (68%).
—This intense sentiment has been a wake-up call to the majority of voters. Driven by deficiencies in our own domestic preparedness for any type of national emergency, Americans currently have to rely on China for necessary resources, medical equipment, and common household products during this time of challenge. Seventy-five percent of voters (75%) say we need to end our dependence on Chinese imports for face masks, PPE, and other critical needs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Only 16% said there was no need to end this dependence. This rating increases to 85% among those who approve Donald Trump’s job performance, 81% among voters who cite “economic issues” as most important, 85% among Republicans, and 81% among Independents. However, 65% of those who disapprove the job the president is doing, and 62% of Democrats want to end this dependence on China.
—Beyond commercial ramifications, and perhaps most important, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed national security concerns as well. Seventy-two percent (72%) favor Washington mandating that American companies with essential manufacturing and technology depart China to help rebuild American economy in exchange for incentives and tax credits for the jobs they create in America. Again this policy is favored in every region and across the political demographic spectrum. Only 15% of the voters opposed.
—What’s more, nearly half of likely voters are willing to forgo a free-market economy for what they perceive as being in the interest of national security. Forty-six percent (46%) say 5G technology and infrastructure in the US should be restricted to only U.S. companies. One-third of voters, 34%, prefer a free-market approach, including Chinese options for consumers.
The pandemic has forged an historic consensus that crosses party lines on the need for unity, an embrace of American domestic manufacturing capability to restore our economy, and the need to recognize that China seeks to leverage the aftershocks of COVID-19 to advance their own geo-political agenda.
Link to poll results:
John McLaughlin has worked professionally as a strategic consultant and pollster for over 35 years. During this time he has earned a reputation for helping some of America’s most successful corporations and winning some of the toughest elections in the nation. His political clients have included former Presidential candidates Steve Forbes and Fred Thompson, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and 22 current and former U.S. Senators and 21 current Republican members of Congress. In 2016, John worked as an advisor and pollster for Donald Trump from the primaries through Election Day. Their firm currently polls for the Trump Pence re-election campaign.
Jim McLaughlin is a nationally recognized public opinion expert, strategic consultant and political strategist who has helped to elect a U.S. President, Prime Ministers, a Senate Majority Leader, and a Speaker of the House. Jim has worked for over 70 members of Congress, 14 U.S. Senators, 10 governors, numerous mayors and scores of other elected officials. Read Jim McLaughlin’s Reports — More Here.
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