AnalysisThe public is relatively less pessimistic than thought leaders about the impact of Covid-19 on American influence vis-à-vis China in the world.
While 33% of U.S. thought leaders think China will gain more influence globally relative to the United States because of the Covid-19 pandemic, 23% of the public are unsure of the impact, 18% believe the United States will gain more influence, and only 16% believe that China will gain more influence.
By the Numbers
of the U.S. public is unsure of the impact of Covid-19 on U.S.-China global competition.
of the U.S. public believes that both countries will lose global influence due to Covid-19.
Republicans are most confident that the United States will gain more global influence than China in the wake of the pandemic. Among Republicans, 26% believe the United States will gain more influence, compared to only 15% of Democrats and 15% of independents.
The same pattern holds across ideological leanings, with 27% of those who identify as conservatives believing the United States will gain more influence, compared to 17% of liberals and 12% of moderates. Among liberals, 21% think China will gain more influence, followed by 16% of moderates and 11% of conservatives.
While 45% of U.S. thought leaders believe that both countries will lose influence, only 22% of the public shares this view.
Only 9% of the public thinks the pandemic will not affect the global influence of either country. The common denominator is uncertainty about the impact, but a belief that there must be some impact.