Congress passed a coronavirus pandemic relief stimulus package which includes direct payments to qualifying individuals. Most will receive $600 – half of what federal stimulus provided earlier this spring. 

To no surprise, a December CivicScience survey of more than 2,800 U.S. adults shows that the vast majority of Americans (78%) think a direct stimulus payment is needed. Seven percent aren’t sure if a second payment is warranted or not — this is down from 14% in July. The most recent CivicScience tracking data show that roughly 30% of Americans are unemployed or have decreased income as of this week. 

Nearly nine months have passed since the first stimulus went into effect – including direct payments – and public support for aid has only grown.

This time around, most Americans don’t think a $600 individual stimulus check is enough. In a separate survey of more than 2,600 respondents, only 7% of U.S. adults (who DO think the government should provide relief) say they believe $600 is a sufficient amount. Nearly 70% think $1,200 or more is what the government should be providing.

The stark divide between the amount Americans deemed sufficient and the amount the recent stimulus package offers comes at a time when roughly 1 in 5 U.S. adults report that they expect their financial situation to worsen in the next six months.

This outlook worsens among those who’ve lost their job during the pandemic.

Wealthier Americans (with household incomes over $150K) are more likely than those making less than $150K annually to say they don’t believe the government should provide aid. In fact, they’re 27% less likely to say that $1,200 or more is a necessary individual check amount.

Most Americans (79%) who believe they’d qualify say they plan to either save the check, purchase necessities, or pay down debt or bills.

This isn’t entirely surprising considering that this is what Americans have been reporting since July, and what they originally reported in the spring when the first direct payment was issued. Another reason this isn’t surprising: nearly 20% of U.S. adults report that within the past six months, they’ve missed a major payment in order to buy essential items.

CivicScience will continue to monitor public sentiment surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Want to stay up to date with CivicScience’s weekly COVID-19 Impact Report? Sign up to receive the latest insights and up-to-the-minute data here