Is COVID-19 becoming less polarizing?
Yes, I would say my impression is it’s less of a polarizing issue. This might be because more people have experienced it, or because it’s been around for a while and people are less worried, and have habituated. Or it could be because we don’t have Trump in office. We do see for COVID-19 that worry has decreased over the course of our sampling, which now goes back about two years, across partisan lines.
In our new study, we found that as people have higher levels of negative experience with COVID—what we call “self-reported hardship,” which can include impacts on job, personal health, and the health of friends and family—there’s a narrowing of the partisan gap around various outcome measures. Republicans and Democrats look very similar at high levels of negative experience. They’re both concerned about COVID. They support mitigative policies. And they are willing to take personal actions, like wearing masks