Washingtonians believe 2020 will get ‘much worse,’ poll suggests


A 2020 Crosscut-Elway Poll shows that Washingtonians are feeling generally pessimistic about this year, unhappy with COVID-19, police use of force and state leadership.

The poll, conducted by Crosscut-Elway and Cascade Public Media, was filled by 402 registered Washington voters from July 11–15. Crosscut-Elway notes that some percentages may not round up to 100 due to the rounding of decimals.


According to the poll, 34-percent of residents foresee things getting much worse nationwide by the end of 2020, and 20-percent of people think things in Washington state alone will get much worse. Alternatively, 32-percent of residents believe things will get somewhat better in the state, 38-percent say the community will get somewhat better and 42-percent believe that things will improve somewhat for them and their household.

Regarding Washington Governor Jay Inslee, opinions are nearly 50/50—overall, 38-percent believe he is doing a poor job in office, opposed to the 29-percent who believe he is doing a good job and 20-percent who believe he is doing an excellent job. According to the poll, Inslee has 51-percent approval of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, but 62-percent disapprove of his handling of protests and police.

Despite this, of the 402 voters polled, 46 percent say they will be voting for Inslee in the fall gubernatorial election. 14 percent say they will vote for Republican candidate Loren Culp.


The poll asked residents what they have experienced during the pandemic—35-percent say they or someone they know personally has contracted COVID-19. 36-percent say they have been working from home, 16 percent have had their hours reduced, 9 percent have been furloughed, another 9 percent have lost their jobs entirely, 6 percent have missed house or rent payments due to the pandemic and 33-percent say they have not experienced any of these things.

Regarding face coverings, 43 percent say they wear a mask out in public, whenever they are indoors or unable to socially distance. Only 4 percent say they do not wear a mask.

With businesses reopening but COVID-19 cases also rising, 26-percent of respondents believe that restrictions must be put back in place, 33 percent say reopening should be paused and 38-percent believe reopening should continue and that people must learn to live with the virus.


In general, 72-percent of people believe the police are doing a positive job, and 25-percent believe they are doing either poorly or “only fair.” Additionally, 46-percent of respondents believe police treat white people and people of color equally, while 35-percent say they favor white people.

Despite this, 57-percent of respondents believe that the Minneapolis Police killing of George Floyd is a sign of broader problems in the treatment of Black Americans by police. Of the 402 respondents, 55-percent support the nationwide protests following George Floyd’s death, and 39-percent say they oppose them.

Only 1 percent of respondents believe that police are more likely to use deadly force against a white person than a person of color, whereas 36-percent say a person of color is more likely and 48-percent say race maks no difference.

Lastly, when it comes to police reform, respondents almost overwhelmingly did not support wide reform—62-percent opposed dismantling the police force, 73-percent opposed reducing city police funding by half, and a majority of 49-percent opposed taking funds from the police to invest in social services and community programs. However, 67-percent said they support banning the police from using choke holds to restrain suspects, and a majority 46-percent said they support changing laws to allow more civil lawsuits against police officers.

You can read the full Crosscut-Elway 2020 WA Crisis Response poll here.