Poll: Nearly 70 percent say election a ‘significant source of stress’

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say next week’s election is a “significant source of stress,” according to a survey released by the American Psychological Association (APA) released this month. 

Sixty-eight percent of all adults say that the 2020 U.S. presidential election is a significant stressor, up 16 points from 2016, when 52 percent of adults said the same. 

The feeling of anxiety surrounding the election does not differ greatly along party lines, with the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents surveyed saying it is causing them stress.

Seventy-six percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of independents said that the Nov. 3 election is a “significant source of stress.” 

The survey results come amid a divisive political climate where tensions are high and there are concerns about the safety and validity of the election. 

President Trump has repeatedly called into question the fairness of the Nov. 3 vote, claiming multiple times without evidence that voting by mail will lead to widespread voter fraud. He has also repeatedly called the election “rigged” and warned of ballot harvesting. 

Democrats, on the other hand, have worried that his remarks and changes to the Postal Service instituted by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will deter voters from the polls — or keep their ballots from reaching collection sites on time. 

In the APA survey, 77 percent of adults said that the future of the nation was a source of stress, up from 11 points from 2019, when 66 percent of U.S. adults said the same. 

Seventy-one percent of adults polled said that this was “the lowest point in our nation’s history that I can remember,” compared to 56 percent of U.S. adults who said the same in 2019. 

The survey was conducted online by the Harris Poll for the APA in the United States in both English and Spanish Aug. 4-26 among 3,409 adults over the age of 18.

It also comes as the U.S. has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected close to 9 million people in the country and killed almost 227,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

The pandemic has disrupted almost every aspect of life in the U.S., forcing children and young adults in many states to switch to online learning in schools and universities. Economic fallout from the pandemic has plunged college seniors and new graduates into uncertainty as they look for jobs. 

Eighty-seven percent of Generation Z adults say that the disruption of their education due to the pandemic is a significant source of stress, and 82 percent of the same demographic say that uncertainty about what the 2020–2021 school year will be like causes them stress. 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has repeatedly hit the president on his management of the disease. The president on the other hand has sought to downplay the significance of the virus and in recent days has blamed the media for what he claims is overblown coverage of the topic. 

The president is currently trailing the former vice president in national polls and is significantly behind in crucial battleground states such as Wisconsin and Michigan. 

On Wednesday, the Cook Political report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, moved the presidential race in Texas from “lean Republican” to “toss-up,” a sign that the traditionally red state is in play for Biden. 

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