Tracking The Pandemic In The Battleground: Wave 2 (May 5, 2020)

The Tea Party-Trump Republican Party was forced to lead the country’s response to the pandemic and that accelerated the polarization of the country and marginalization of the GOP — at a very high human cost. Donald Trump took leadership of a modern Republican Party shaped profoundly by the Tea Party revolt against Barack Obama, government health care, and immigration. They sought to gridlock government and polarize America. Now, Trump leads an anti-government party that has been forced to oversee the biggest expansion of regulation and government since World War II.

Republicans rally behind getting the economy started in an anti-pro-life charge against their party, but Democrats and independents are staunchly behind governors who are keeping people at home until safe.

The partisan polarization has even shaped how much they fear an immediate family member becoming seriously ill.  Half of Democrats score the most worried, 8 to 10 on a 10-point scale, but only a quarter of Republicans. That explains why so many Republican political leaders have so much trouble holding the line on government control.

The level of support for new proposals for a possible new CARES package rises to stratospheric levels. At each point in this pandemic crisis, the country becomes even more supportive of the bold options and bigger role for government.

The number of voters who could now afford a sudden $500 expense jumped from two thirds to three quarters, and a remarkable 70 percent of voters received a direct payment into their bank account to deal with the crisis Some of the reason why people have expressed less worry about their finances rather than health is this massive cash support that people received, so it is not surprising that 86 percent of registered voters approve of the rescue plan.

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