Bospar Study: Only About 40% of Republicans and Gen Zers Feel Restaurants and Movie Theaters Should Be Closed

New study reveals that the pandemic has somewhat re-ordered generational political sympathies

SAN FRANCISCO – May 21, 2020 – Bospar, the boutique PR firm that puts tech companies on the map, has today released new findings on COVID-19.

Bospar teamed up with Propeller Insights to determine how seriously Americans take the threat of COVID-19 and adherence to social distancing guidelines. The survey discovered that, generally speaking, older Americans join Democrats in taking the pandemic more seriously than younger Americans and Republicans.

“Obviously Gen Zers are less scared of COVID-19, because the death rates are so much lower, but the fact that Republicans are less scared just shows the power of spin and messaging,” said Curtis Sparrer, a principal of Bospar. “Right-leaning news outlets and President Trump himself have been minimizing the dangers of the virus, whereas left-leaning outlets have been taking it very seriously.”

Older Americans most socially distant

Only 4% of Americans say they haven’t been practicing social distancing, and two-thirds (67%) appreciate that social distancing is helping to mitigate the spread of the virus.

But older Americans are taking it much more seriously than younger Americans. Only 57% of adult Gen Zers (18-24 year olds) have been social distancing “as much as they possibly can,” and 26% have been practicing social distancing “but not all of the time.” This is compared to 81% of Americans 45+ who have been social distancing “as much as they can” and 8% who have been practicing social distancing “but not all of the time.”

Americans (51%) most dislike that social distancing is creating a threat to the economy and that they have been unable to visit family. This is followed by:

  • Having to take extreme cautions in public and not being able to hang out with friends (43%)
  • Not being able to go to public events, like parties and sports (40%)

Other than mitigating the virus, Americans admit that social distancing has some upsides. For example, 42% appreciate that strangers no longer bump into them, and 26% enjoy not having to go into public.

Gen Zers and Republicans are least worried

About 73% of Americans worry they will catch COVID-19 when restrictions are lifted. This includes 85% of Democrats and 75% of seniors (Americans 65+) but just 64% of Republicans and 67% of Gen Zers.

So, perhaps it follows that significantly more Democrats (63%) and seniors (61%) feel businesses should close any areas where people would be in close quarters—like restaurants and movie theaters. Only 39% of Gen Zers and 41% of Republicans agree. 

Republicans (74%) and Gen Zers (71%) are also less worried than Democrats (90%) and seniors (88%) that COVID-19 will make a comeback in the fall. 

In the post-COVID-19 world, 82% of Americans will be more cautious about their personal space. This includes fewer Republicans (81%) than Democrats (89%) and fewer Gen Zers (72%) than Americans of other generations (84%).

“The political divide in our country is strong, and citizens on both sides are turning to sources of information that align with their politics,” said Gabrielle Ayala, Principal, Propeller Insights. “However, one thing that unites Americans is their expectation of what should be communicated – the facts. Whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, over 70% say sharing the facts should be the primary role of communications professionals in the era of COVID-19. One has to hope that officials and the media can deliver.”

About Propeller Insights
Propeller Insights is a full-service market research firm based in Los Angeles. Using quantitative and qualitative methodologies to measure and analyze marketplace and consumer opinions, they work extensively across industries such as travel, brand intelligence, entertainment/media, retail, and consumer packaged goods. Propeller conducted its national online survey for Bospar of 1,014 U.S. adults between April 28, 2020-April 29, 2020. Survey responses were nationally representative of the U.S. population for age, gender, region, and ethnicity. The maximum margin of sampling error was +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

About Bospar
Bospar is a boutique tech PR firm featuring a team of highly seasoned professionals who exist to put tech companies on the map. Bospar’s principals include a long-time PR and tech industry guru, a former broadcast TV producer and award-winning media maven, a standout PR agency manager from the corporate side of a leading global law firm, and an experienced executive with both agency and public company credentials. Bospar’s larger team includes experts in both social and traditional media, as well as financial and analyst relations and public affairs.