Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari advocates for a six-week shutdown stricter than state orders back in March. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, argues for the same thing. They think this timeline can help control the spread of the coronavirus and bolster long-term economic prospects.
The short-term consequences would be massive: Just look at March and April, when the jobless rate soared from 4.4% to 14.7%.
Is that something the public can stomach again? To find out, Fortune and SurveyMonkey teamed up to poll 2,725 U.S. adults between August 31 and September 1.
Among U.S. adults, 65% support a national “stay at home” order, in which everyone in the U.S. is required to remain in their home except for essential services. That support is striking considering the economic damage caused by state-issued shutdowns in the spring. It also speaks to how concerned Americans remain about the pandemic.
That support wanes among high-income Americans. Among individuals earning under $50,000, 79% support a national “stay at home.” Meanwhile, that figure is 55% among individuals earning more than $100,000.
The S&P 500 has rebounded to above 3,400 points after bottoming out at 2,237 points on March 23 amid states going into lockdown. However, we’d likely see stocks plunge again if states went back into lockdown. The fear of another stock plunge, and the impact on business, could be why high-income Americans are the least supportive of another lockdown.
Given the political divide in America, we tested two versions (an A/B test) of the poll question: Some poll takers were asked if they’d support another lockdown if proposed by President Donald Trump, and others were asked if they’d support it if proposed by Joe Biden. The latter has expressed openness to such a policy if supported by public health officials.
Among Republicans, 54% would support a national “stay at home” order if proposed by Trump. Only 23% of them would support it if proposed by Biden. Meanwhile, Democrats would be supportive of a “stay at home” order by both Biden (93%) and Trump (85%).
That means an order by Biden could be less effective due to lack of Republican support: If Americans don’t oblige, the order could just amount to wasted economic damage.
*Methodology: The Fortune-SurveyMonkey poll was conducted among a national sample of 2,725 adults in the U.S. between August 31 and September 1. This survey’s modeled error estimate is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The findings have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography.
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