Sign directing COVID-19 testing
Stony Brook, N.Y.: A digital sign directs people to the drive-through coronavirus testing area which began on the main campus of Stony Brook University on March 18, 2020. Those wishing to be tested must first make an appointment. (Photo by John Paraskevas/Newsday RM vis Getty Images)

A national survey found that 55% of voters now believe the worst of the pandemic is still to come.  That’s an increase of seven points from a week ago, suggesting an increase in pessimism following news that President Trump tested positive for COVID. The vast majority of interviews in the latest survey were conducted following release of that information.  

The survey, conducted by Scott Rasmussen, also found that 24% believe the worst is behind us and 21% are not sure.

Rasmussen has been tracking this question weekly for several months. During August, optimism was growing on this question. By early September, the number saying the worst was still to come had fallen below the 50% mark and it remained there until this week. 

Forty-four percent (44%) of Republicans now believe the worst is behind us. However, 72% of Democrats and 57% of Independents believe the worst is still to come.

The table below highlights selected results showing trends over the past few months.

Behind Still to Come
Oct 1-3  24%55%
Sept 3-529%49%
Aug 13-1520%59%
July 23-2515%63%
June 4-6  29%42%
April 9-1116%60%


The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from October 1-3, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 121 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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