Three quarters of Americans say COVID-19 has had ‘major’ impact on their daily lives

U.S. & World

Results differ among political parties, but not across income groups

Toledo voting barriers

Residents of Lucas County, Ohio wait in line behind plastic barriers and stand six feet apart to help protect people from Coronavirus (Covid-19) during early voting in the US state of Ohio on October 6,2020 in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo by SETH HERALD/AFP via Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — More than nine months into a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 people in the U.S., nearly three in four Americans say the coronavirus has had a major daily impact on their lives or their family’s lives, according to results from this week’s NBC/SurveyMonkey poll of U.S. adults.

Thirty-seven percent each said COVID-19 has impacted their daily lives in a “very major way” or a “fairly major way.” Twenty-one percent said the pandemic has only impacted them in a small way, while just 3% said COVID-19 “has not changed [their] life in any way.” One percent did not answer.

NBC and SurveyMonkey surveyed 66,877 American adults Oct. 5-11, and results are nationally representative of age, race, sex, education level and geography. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 1 percentage point.

For most polls, you can read the margin of error (MoE) like this: If the poll were to be done again 100 times, in 95 of those times the results would be within “X” percentage points of the original.


So let’s say a national poll of a sampling of registered voters, with an MoE of +/- 3, has:

  • Joe Biden at 53%
  • Donald Trump at 47%

  • You can be 95% certain that a hypothetical poll of all registered U.S. voters would yield results between these extremes:

  • Biden 56/Trump 44 (+3 more for Biden, -3 fewer for Trump)
  • Trump 50/Biden 50 (+3 more for Trump, -3 fewer for Biden)
  • The weekly poll, which dates to late June, has consistently found that Americans are worried about catching the virus (68% this week), worried that it will hurt their family’s finances (71%) and “strongly” disapprove of President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic (46%).

    The question about impact on daily life is new this week. Most likely to say the pandemic has impacted their daily lives in a major way are racial minorities and liberals.

    The demographic with the starkest differences is political party. Eighty-seven percent of Democrats and those who lean Democrat said their lives have been majorly impacted by COVID-19, while 63% of Republicans/leaners — significantly fewer but still a majority — said the same.

    Independents were in the middle at 76%.

    Although Asian Americans, Black Americans and Hispanic Americans are the most likely racial and ethnic groups to feel majorly impacted by COVID-19 (82%, 80% and 78%, respectively), 72% of White Americans still said the same.

    Interestingly, results did not vary much across income groups. The same percentage of people (76%) whose total family income last year was under $50,000 felt as majorly impacted as people who made $100,000 or more.

    And digging further down, 76% of people making less than $15,000 say the virus has majorly impacted their daily lives, compared with 77% among people who make more than $150,000.

    More than 215,000 COVID-positive Americans have died during the coronavirus outbreak that is in its 10th month, according to the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University. More than 7.8 million Americans have contracted the virus.

    Ohio, which has recorded more than 171,000 cases, became on Monday the 13th state to surpass 5,000 coronavirus deaths. The state recorded its first death of a COVID-positive person on March 1, but the first Ohioan confirmed to have the virus started feeling symptoms on Jan. 2.

    Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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