Coronavirus Heightens Recession Fears in Trump’s Economy

70% of public, including 67% of Republicans, said they’re worried about a recession
March 13, 2020 at 4:21 pm UTC

Key Takeaways

  • 78% of Democrats and 65% of independents say they’re concerned about a recession amid the pandemic.

  • 54% of adults back President Trump’s proposed payroll tax cut.

President Donald Trump has so far centered his re-election bid around a strong economy and stock market — a pitch that might be weakening as the coronavirus pandemic grows.

American consumers have grown increasingly worried about the impact of the coronavirus on the economy. Now, 70 percent of U.S. adults say they are concerned about a recession, according to a new Morning Consult poll.

Overwhelmingly, Democrats expect the economy to sour. Seventy-eight percent are very or somewhat worried about a recession, compared to 15 percent who are not very concerned or not concerned at all. 

But notably, it’s not just Democrats who are growing skeptical of the U.S. economy. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans said they are either very or somewhat concerned about a recession, while 27 percent say they are not very concerned or not concerned at all. Most independents (65 percent) are also likely to be concerned about a recession.

The poll was conducted March 12-13 among 2,201 U.S. adults and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

The pessimism could pose a problem for Trump, who has repeatedly boasted about low unemployment and a rising stock market during his administration. But as the coronavirus pandemic has spread in the United States, major U.S. stock indexes have slid into a bear market, and consumer confidence has seen its steepest one-day drop in the more than two years that Morning Consult has been collecting the data.

In response to the turmoil, Trump has pushed a number of measures designed to calm the stock market and curb the economic impact. In talks with Republican senators, Trump reportedly framed one of these proposed, a payroll tax cut until the end of the year, as a way to keep taxes low until after the election

Overall, 54 percent of adults back the payroll tax cut. Forty-five percent of Democrats said they support the measure, compared to 30 percent who oppose it. 

Republicans backed the payroll tax cut with 75 percent support, compared to 7 percent opposition.

Claire Williams previously worked at Morning Consult as a reporter covering finances.

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