Partisanship, Health Behavior, and Policy Attitudes in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic

34 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2020

See all articles by Shana Kushner Gadarian

Shana Kushner Gadarian

Syracuse University

Sara Wallace Goodman

University of California, Irvine - Department of Political Science

Thomas B. Pepinsky

Cornell University - Department of Government

Date Written: March 27, 2020

Abstract

Individual choices made during the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shape the course of the virus’s spread and the risks facing human populations. Yet the response to COVID-19 in the United States has been deeply political, and elite messaging from the administration of President Donald J. Trump may have produced a differential mass public health response among his supporters. To estimate the extent of these differences, we conducted an original survey of 3,000 American citizens between March 20-23 to collect data on health behavior, attitudes, and opinions about how to respond to the crisis. Measuring partisanship as party affiliation, intended 2020 Presidential vote, and self-placed ideological positioning, we find that political differences are the single most consistent factor that differentiates’ Americans health behaviors and policy preferences. These results suggest that in the United States, public health messaging must deliberately transcend political cleavages in order to produce widely shared pro-social health
behavior.

Keywords: coronavirus, COVID19, partisanship

Suggested Citation

Kushner Gadarian, Shana and Goodman, Sara Wallace and Pepinsky, Thomas B., Partisanship, Health Behavior, and Policy Attitudes in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic (March 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3562796 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3562796

Shana Kushner Gadarian

Syracuse University ( email )

900 S. Crouse Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States

Sara Wallace Goodman

University of California, Irvine - Department of Political Science ( email )

Irvine, CA 92697
United States

Thomas B. Pepinsky (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Government ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
2,235
Abstract Views
8,798
rank
6,613
PlumX Metrics