New COVID-19 Policy Polling: Voters Demand Further Government Action; Overwhelming Support for Immediate Aid to Families, Frontline Workers

April 29, 2020

70 percent want Congress to “do whatever it takes to provide Americans the economic support they need during this very difficult time”; 71 percent want “major, sweeping action to address the economic impact of the pandemic.”


Washington, DC—Today, the Groundwork Collaborative and the Roosevelt Institute released new polling of registered voters on the federal government’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Conducted by GBAO Strategies, the poll tested specific policies that have been enacted by Congress as well as those that are being considered as part of future relief packages. The poll shows overwhelming public support for continued aggressive government action on a number of fronts, including what is needed to help workers and families get through this crisis; how best to get the economy working again; and steps needed to strengthen the economy for the long-run.

Key Findings:

  • Americans are struggling economically and find Trump’s and Republicans’ pandemic response so far mostly lackluster.
  • Initial remedies are viewed as a good start, but a clear majority believe that the government has not gone far enough to address the crisis given its severity. Voters want “all of the above” and are less concerned about federal debt.
  • That said, there is a clear preference for immediate health care and frontline worker needs and widespread worker relief through investment, public programs, or cash payments, with support for corporations being rated as a much lower priority.
  • The policy specifics are consistent with voters’ articulated approach: focus on workers; ensure accountability; be comprehensive and fast; and address the long-standing, structural problems in the economy, including persistent poverty and pervasive inequality.
  • The public rejects the false trade-off between addressing immediate needs and fixing the underlying economic problems that have exacerbated this crisis.

“If there is one thing that is crystal clear it’s that people across the country are demanding that Congress take bold, aggressive action to tackle this public health and economic crisis, work to rebuild our economy in major ways, and get money into the hands of the workers and families who need it most,” said Michael Linden, Executive Director of Groundwork Collaborative. “There is absolutely no time for delay or half-measures. Congress needs to put people, not corporations, first and not only address the public’s immediate needs but also rectify the fragility in our society that has made us so vulnerable to a crisis like this.”

“There is simply no trade-off—in voters’ minds or in practice—between addressing the immediate crisis and solving the underlying problems in our economy that have made this crisis so acute for so many. Voters want real, structural reforms that will make a difference in their lives today–and in their lives tomorrow. We hope policymakers on both sides of the aisle will listen,” said Steph Sterling, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at the Roosevelt Institute.

As millions of Americans struggle during an acute and severe economic and public health crisis, we see a pervasive, bipartisan demand for Congress to take sweeping, long-term action to provide economic relief. More details on the poll findings can be found below:

About Groundwork Collaborative

The Groundwork Collaborative is an initiative dedicated to advancing a progressive economic worldview and narrative. We are committed to collaborating with a diverse array of partners to advance an economic system that produces strong, broadly shared prosperity and abundance for all people, and not just a wealthy few. Our work is driven by one core guiding principle: we are the economy.

We work with economic policy experts, progressive movement leaders, and activists on the front lines of progressive causes in communities across the country to develop and advance a progressive economic worldview; collaborate and foster new ideas, and develop new pathways to share information; And break down issue silos, support and amplify each other’s work, and show up for one another on critical economic issue campaigns.

About the Roosevelt Institute

The Roosevelt Institute is a New York-based think tank that, in partnership with its campus network and the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, is working to redefine the American economy. Focusing on corporate and public power, labor and wages, and the economics of race and gender inequality, the Roosevelt Institute unifies experts, invests in young leaders, and advances progressive policies that bring the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor into the 21st century.

To keep up to date with the Roosevelt Institute, please visit us on Twitter or follow our work at #RewriteTheRules.

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