Do people feel that government lockdowns are driven more by science or by politics?

In a survey fielded late last week, we asked two questions of 963 consumers nationwide:

  1. Which of the following datapoints do you believe IS most driving your local government’s current decisions on issuing or removing COVID-19 restrictions?
  2. Whether or not it is, which of the following datapoints do you most believe SHOULD BE driving your local government’s current decisions on issuing or removing COVID-19 restrictions?”

The results are shown below.


The most popular response (29%) indicates the perception that daily new case counts is currently the main driver of government decisions. But there is a -5 ppt difference between the current state and the ideal state: fewer people think that daily new case counts should be the driver of government decisions.

In second place for what people think is currently happening is "No specific datapoint, but general political alignment." 15% of respondents think that political alignment currently is a driver of coronavirus decisions, but only 6% of people think that should be the driving reason.

The same was true of "No specific datapoint, but general expert opinion." 8% of people think that is currently a driver of decisions, but 0% think that it should be.

Instead, people think other data should factor into government decisions moreso than what's currently happening: including positive rate of COVID-19 tests, hospital capacity, daily death counts, total all-time COVID-19 cases, and total deaths compared to a baseline of previous years.

We answered additional questions in the analysis:

  • What are consumer perceptions toward the severity of the coronavirus pandemic?
  • Are consumers aware of what's open/not open in their area? 
  • How has consumer behavior changed over the course of the pandemic?

Watch the recording below and download the slides here.


This Friday, we're hosting a webinar on how consumer behavior has shifted from the beginning of the pandemic to now - including insights on retail shopping activity, restaurant dining, travel, and media/entertainment consumption.

Join us on Friday, August 14th from 9:30-10am Pacific / 12:30-1pm Eastern. Register here.