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The Pulse: States Reopening and Dr. Seuss

The Pulse of the American Consumer is focused on continued insight into consumer sentiments for businesses across all industries.


We asked American adults about their opinions on recently discussed and debated topics, one being the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, in addition to current events related to COVID-19 and the Biden/Harris Administration . In order for businesses to have the most success connecting with their consumers, they have to understand them – what they are interested in, what they need, and how they feel.

At ENGINE, we have the real-time pulse of the consumer, today, and always. Throughout 2021, we will be offering weekly insights through identifying important data points and trends from the voice of the consumer.


KEY FINDINGS AS OF March 7, 2021:

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If you would like more information on ENGINE CARAVAN surveys, contact us below:

At ENGINE, we will be keeping up with the pulse of the consumer throughout 2021, and are regularly running our CARAVAN surveys on current social issues. Contact us at caravaninfo@enginegroup.com for more information or for the full CARAVAN survey findings.

This Online CARAVAN® omnibus surveys were conducted on January 8-10, January 15-17, January 22-24, January 29-31, February 5-7, February 12-14,  February 19-21, February 26-28, and March 5-7, 2021.  Approximately 1,000 adults selected from opt-in panels were surveyed. The results are also weighted to U.S. Census data to be demographically representative.

Written by the CARAVAN team at ENGINE Insights.

The Pulse of the American Consumer

Current Events:

How closely have you followed these news events of the PAST WEEK?

  • The ongoing negotiations for a new $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill
    • Total Followed Closely: 70% (+3% change)
    • Very Closely: 35% (+3% change)
  • The latest updates regarding COVID-19 vaccines
    • Total Followed Closely: 68% (-4% change)
    • Very Closely: 34% (-4% change)
  • The latest developments concerning COVID-19 infections and deaths in the United States
    • Total Followed Closely: 62% (-7% change)
    • Very Closely: 28% (-4% change)
      * This marks a decrease of 12% who are following this issue (-14% who are following very closely) since the beginning of the year (January 8-10)
  • States such as Texas and Mississippi deciding to open all businesses with no restrictions or mask mandates (New)
    • Total Followed Closely: 64%
    • Very Closely: 28%
  • The specific debates about raising the minimum wage for U.S. workers
    • Total Followed Closely: 62% (+7% change)
    • Very Closely: 26% (+1% change)
  • The situation involving some books written by Dr. Seuss no longer being printed and available for purchase due to perceived racist messages (New)
    • Total Followed Closely: 48%
    • Very Closely: 22%

How concerned are you currently about these issues?

  • The impact of disinformation and fake news on society
    • Total Concerned: 82% (no change)
    • Very Concerned: 48% (no change)
  • Future threats of violent events in the U.S. caused by domestic terrorists
    • Total Concerned: 78% (+1% change)
    • Very Concerned: 42% (+4% change)
  • States reopening businesses and lifting mask mandates too soon, resulting in a spike in coronavirus cases (New)
    • Total Concerned: 74%
    • Very Concerned: 43%
  • The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that is currently being debated in Congress
    • Total Concerned: 74% (-1% change)
    • Very Concerned: 38% (+2% change)
  • Elected officials of the United States government that have been known to support or promote conspiracy theories
    • Total Concerned: 70% (+7% change)
    • Very Concerned: 37% (+5% change)
  • Contracting the Coronavirus
    • Total Concerned: 69% (+1% change)
    • Very Concerned: 37% (+2% change)
  • Your household’s finances being negatively impacted as a result of the ongoing pandemic
    • Total Concerned: 68% (-2% change)
    • Very Concerned: 34% (-1% change)
  • The mental wellbeing of your family due to the Coronavirus
    • Total Concerned: 63% (-5% change)
    • Very Concerned: 30% (-4% change)
  • Your mental wellbeing due to the Coronavirus
    • Total Concerned: 57% (-6% change)
    • Very Concerned: 27% (-2% change)
  • The amount of time you need to wait to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
    • Total Concerned: 54% (-3% change)
    • Very Concerned: 25% (-2% change)
  • Your general lifestyle being disrupted by new policy decisions made by the Biden/Harris administration
    • Total Concerned: 53% (-3% change)
    • Very Concerned: 28% (-1% change)

Below are several topics that have been discussed and debated a lot recently. To what extent do you agree or disagree with each statement related to them?

  • Too much attention is being given to cultural issues (such as Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head), rather than matters such as employment and overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic (New)
    • Agree: 80%
    • Strongly Agree: 49%
  • I trust the scientific community regarding information about COVID-19
    • Agree: 76% (+1% change)
    • Strongly Agree: 36% (+2% change)
  • I have grown tired of hearing the term ‘cancel culture’
    • Agree: 73% (+2% change)
    • Strongly Agree: 40% (+3% change)
  • I support the recognition, rights, and protection of transgender people and non-binary identities
    • Agree: 71% (+1% change)
    • Strongly Agree: 35% (+2% change)
  • I am concerned that companies are increasingly overcompensating on issues related to equality, and it will have the opposite impact than intended
    • Agree: 70% (+3% change)
    • Strongly Agree: 32% (+5% change)
  • The minimum wage in the United States should be increased to $15 an hour
    • Agree: 69% (+5% change)
    • Strongly Agree: 39% (+2% change)
  • Marijuana for recreational use should be approved for the entire United States
    • Agree: 67% (+5% change)
    • Strongly Agree: 39% (+3% change)
  • I am more likely to boycott companies, brands and media networks that are linked to promoting or supporting misinformation and conspiracy theories
    • Agree: 66% (-1% change)
    • Strongly Agree: 32% (+3% change)
  • All schools in the U.S. should be open now for in-person student instruction
    • Agree: 56% (+2% change)
    • Strongly Agree: 26% (+2% change)


COVID-19 & The Vaccine

  • 37% of American adults have already received or are currently registered on a waiting list to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
  • 23% have not received it yet but will as soon as its available to them
  • 18% will likely get the vaccine eventually but prefer to wait until more evidence of safety and effectiveness is available
  • 23% do not plan to receive it at all
    * This portion of American adults who do not plan to receive the vaccine at all has held consistent since the beginning of the year.

This week, it was announced that production of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose coronavirus vaccine will be increased through a partnership with Merck. It has since been suggested that all American adults willing to receive the vaccine should have access by the end of May, rather than July. Knowing this, 68% of American Adults feel more confident (35% much more confident) that life will ‘return closer to normal’ sooner than previously expected. This level of confidence jumps to 80% among those who have received or plan to receive the vaccine, 43% who are much more confident.

Consumer Confidence/Economic Outlook

An increasing number of states are allowing for increased capacity at places that have been closed or limited to the public. At what capacity level would you feel comfortable attending each of these types of venues today? *MEAN SUMMARY

  • 46.3% An outdoor arena, such as baseball, football or soccer stadium
  • 40.1% An indoor restaurant/bar/club
  • 37.6% An indoor recreational space, such as an arcade or bowling alley
  • 36.4% An indoor arena, such as those used for basketball, hockey, or concerts
  • 34.9% A movie theatre
  • 33.8% A smaller indoor theater, such as those used for plays or comedy shows

Would you say that you (and your household) are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?

  • Much/somewhat better off: 24% (-2% change)
  • The same: 46% (+2% change)
  • Much/somewhat worse off: 30% (no change)

Now looking ahead-do you think that a year from now you (and your household) will be better off financially, worse off, or about the same as now?

  • Will be much/somewhat better off: 44% (-3% change)
  • Will be the same: 41% (no change)
  • Will be much/somewhat worse off: 15% (+3% change)

Now turning to business conditions in the United States as a whole-do you think that during the next twelve months we’ll have good times financially, or bad times?

  • Very good/somewhat good times: 34% (+3% change)
  • A mix of both: 46% (-4% change)
  • Very bad/somewhat bad times:  19% (no change)

Looking ahead, which would you say is the most likely economic scenario for the United States during the next five years or so?

  • Mostly periods of economic prosperity: 14% (no change)
  • Somewhat more prosperity than instability : 29% (+2% change)
  • About equal parts prosperity and instability: 33% (no change)
  • Somewhat more instability than prosperity: 13% (-3% change)
  • Mostly periods of economic instability: 11% (+1% change)


Do you think now is a good or a bad time for you/your household to (Change since 2 weeks ago):

  • Save more than you are saving now
    • Very/Somewhat Good: 57% (-4% change)
    • Very Good: 25% (-3% change)
  • Invest more for retirement than you are now
    • Very/Somewhat Good: 41% (-5% change)
    • Very Good: 16% (-1% change)
  • Buy major home electronics such as a TV, computer, tablet
    • Very/Somewhat Good: 33% (no change)
    • Very Good: 10% (no change)
  • Make large home improvement/renovation projects
    • Very/Somewhat Good: 29% (-1% change)
    • Very Good: 10% (+1% change)
  • Buy large home appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher, washer/dryer, stove/oven)
    • Very/Somewhat Good: 27% (-1% change)
    • Very Good: 9% (no change)
  • Buy furniture and home decor
    • Very/Somewhat Good: 27% (-1% change)
    • Very Good: 8% (-1% change)
  • Buy a new car
    • Very/Somewhat Good: 25% (-1% change)
    • Very Good: 9% (+2% change)
  • Take a vacation or travel for an event
    • Very/Somewhat Good: 25% (+1% change)
    • Very Good: 9% (no change)


A Glance at the Presidency…

How much do you approve or disapprove of the job President Biden is doing? (Change since last week)

  • *Among general population American adults:
    • 55% Approve (+3% change)
    • 26% Disapprove (-1% change)
    • 19% Neither approve nor disapprove (-2% change)
    • +29% Net approval rating (approve-disapprove) (+4% change)
  • *Among Registered Voters
    • 59% Approve (+4% change)
    • 27% Disapprove (-2% change)
    • 14% Neither approve nor disapprove (-2% change)
    • +32% Net approval rating (approve-disapprove) (+6% change)



Dig deeper with the ENGINE Insights COVID Dashboard

The ENGINE COVID-19 dashboard delivers an easy-to-use, self-serve platform providing access to all of our COVID-19 tracking data including industry specific deep-dives and online behavioral data. This tool puts ENGINE’s data in your hands to uncover meaningful insights to your specific business questions.