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Fortune

Fortune|SurveyMonkey poll: protests and business

Fortune|SurveyMonkey poll: protests and business

As businesses have begun to open their doors again, a majority of people are concerned that the economic reopening will increase the spread of coronavirus (63%), according to a new Fortune|SurveyMonkey poll. But, these concerns are more muted compared to the economic and health concerns stemming from the protests.

More than seven in 10 people say they are worried that the recent social unrest and protests will have a negative impact on the country’s economy (76%) and that they will increase the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. (72%).

Race differences here are telling: whites are much less likely than blacks, Hispanics, and Asians to worry that reopening the economy will increase the spread of coronavirus. Blacks are a bit less likely than everyone else to worry that the protests will have a negative impact on the economy.

Republicans, Democrats, and independents are all equally worried that the protests will have a negative impact on the economy. Close to eight in 10 Republicans, Democrats, and independents all say they are worried about the economic impact of the protests, with about four in 10 saying they are “very worried.” 

But, concerns about the coronavirus have large partisan differences. Republicans are significantly less likely than others to worry that the protests will increase the spread of coronavirus. Just 55% of Republicans, compared with 88% of Democrats and 76% of independents say they are worried that the recent protests will propagate the spread of the coronavirus. Fully half as many Republicans as Democrats (26% vs. 54%) say they are “very worried” that protests will help to increase the spread of the virus. 

Similarly, Republicans are also half as likely as everyone else to worry that reopening the economy will increase the spread of the coronavirus (36% among Republicans vs. 88% among Democrats and 70% among independents. Just one in 10 Republicans are worried that reopening will increase the spread of the virus, compared half of all Democrats. 

More than two-thirds of people in the U.S. (68%) approve of business leaders speaking out on social and political issues--up 10 points from when SurveyMonkey asked this question in September. Approval has increased among people of every race/ethnicity, gender, age, and partisan identification.

People of color are more likely to say they approve of speaking out: just 66% of whites, but 69% of Hispanics, 72% of blacks, and 81% of Asians say they approve of business leaders who speak out.

For full results, click through the interactive toplines below.
Read more about our polling methodology here

Question text:
How worried are you that recent social unrest and protests will have a negative impact on the country's economy?
How worried are you that recent social unrest and protests will increase the spread of the coronavirus in the United States?
How worried are you that reopening the economy will increase the spread of the coronavirus in the United States?
In general, do you approve or disapprove of business leaders speaking out on social and political issues?
Do you approve or disapprove of companies or brands donating money to bail out arrested protesters?
When it comes to decisions about hiring and promotions, do you think companies and organizations should take a person's race and ethnicity into account, in addition to their qualifications, in order to increase diversity in the workplace or should only take a person's qualifications into account, even if it results in less diversity in the workplace?
(Among workers) Would you approve or disapprove of business leaders at your own company or organization speaking out on social and political issues?