• July 23, 2021

How the world feels about hosting the Tokyo Olympics amid COVID-19

Welcome to Pollapalooza, our weekly survey summary.

Today is the opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympics, which were delayed for almost a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But not everyone is happy that the Games are finally going ahead.

Japan, the host country of the Olympic Games, has been slow to vaccinate its population against coronavirus and is experiencing a peak in COVID-19 cases that have motivated the declaration of the state of emergency and the decision to bar spectators of most Olympic events. Against that backdrop, a Morning Consult Survey held from July 15-16 found that only 22 percent of Japanese adults supported holding the Olympics as scheduled, while 41 percent believed they should be canceled and 21 percent thought they should be postponed again. A few days later, the Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, published similar findings: only 33 percent of respondents supported holding the Olympics, while 55 percent opposed. Worse still, the Japanese believed between 68 and 21 percent that the Games would not be “safe and secure.”

Opposition to the Games was particularly high in Japan, but it was not the only country that felt this way. From May 21 to June 4, Ipsos surveyed adults in 28 countries and found that the average country believed the Olympics should not continue amid the pandemic, 57 percent versus 43 percent. South Korea (86 percent versus 14 percent) and Japan (78 percent versus 22 percent) were the most skeptical of the Olympics, while Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Russia were more comfortable seeing the Games take place. developed.

Americans were divided, according to Ipsos: 52 percent wanted the Olympics to go ahead, while 48 percent thought it didn’t. in a Survey from July 9 to 13 From Morning Consult, fewer Americans said they thought the Games should be canceled or postponed (just 27 percent), but that was not because an overwhelming majority thought the Games should be held on schedule: only 45 percent did. he said, a ratio similar to that of Ipsos found. (The remaining 28 percent did not know or had no opinion).

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There were also big differences in the interest of each country in the Olympics. According to Ipsos, India was the most excited about the Games (70 percent of Indian respondents said they were very or somewhat interested in them), while Belgium (28 percent) and South Korea (30 percent) they were the least interested.

While Ipsos found that the Japanese were not very interested (32 percent) in the Olympics, other pollsters found that most of them still plan to follow the Games. Morning Consult found that 53 percent of Japanese adults planned to watch the Olympics on television, and Asahi Shimbun also found that 56 percent wanted to tune in.

The US polls were a bit more consistent. Fifty-one percent of American adults told Morning Consult that they plan to watch some or many of the Olympics on television, about the same as the 48 percent who told Ipsos that they were very or somewhat interested. At the Games. However, that number was just 37 percent in a July 16-19 period. YouGov US survey

Pollsters also asked which events various countries were most interested in following. And in the 28 countries in the Ipsos survey, 30 percent of respondents chose soccer (better known to most of them as soccer) as one of their top three events, 27 percent chose athletics / track and field. and 22 percent chose water sports.

But again each country has its own preferences. For example, 63 percent of Malaysians rated badminton as one of their top three events; 38 percent of Chinese adults did the same with table tennis. For their part, the Japanese look forward to water sports, athletics and baseball / softball. The latter may have a special place in the heart of Japan, as they were read as olympic events after a 13-year hiatus due to its popularity in Japan, and the Japanese are expected to get medals in each one. In fact, according to Morning Consult, 21 percent of Japanese adults are very interested in watching baseball / softball at the Tokyo Olympics (the highest percentage of any sport), and another 28 percent are somewhat interested.

Meanwhile, according to Morning consultationAmericans are most interested in watching gymnastics (62 percent very or somewhat interested) and swimming (56 percent), two events in which the United States has historically excelled. (Sadly for America’s national pastime, only 44 percent said they were interested in watching baseball / softball, placing it eighth behind diving, track and field, beach volleyball, basketball, and volleyball.)

America’s love affair with gymnastics may be due in large part to one person: Simone Biles. Morning Consult found the artistic gymnast to be both the most famous (67 percent name recognition) and the most popular (51 percent preferred) Olympian in the United States (soccer player Megan Rapinoe and swimmer Katie Ledecky were finalists. ). Ipsos found that Biles is by far the athlete Americans are most excited to see in Tokyo. Even more impressive, when Morning Consult asked Americans an open question about their favorite sports figure in a poll from July 1-6, Biles ranked fourth, behind only Tom Brady, Michael Jordan and LeBron James. That means that, for the next two weeks, Americans will witness no less than one of the biggest stars in the sports world on its biggest stage.

Other voting bites

  • As the Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads, a Ipsos / Axios survey has found concern about the reactivation of COVID-19: 39 percent of Americans thought that returning to their pre-pandemic life would pose a large or moderate risk to their health and well-being, compared with 28 percent at the end of June. However, there is little evidence that Americans are changing their behavior to match it: the proportion of Americans who at least sometimes leave the house wearing a mask is essentially the same as the latest wave of Ipsos polls (52 percent vs. to 55 percent). And similarly, the proportion of Americans who visited friends or family in the past week has not changed (67 percent vs. 68 percent).
  • Despite some breakthrough cases Of vaccinated people who contract COVID-19, coronavirus vaccines are very effective against the Delta variant, and there is no evidence that vaccinated people need a booster shot any time soon. However, 62 percent of vaccinated adults said YouGov / Yahoo News that they would get another injection if they could. Only 18 percent said no, while 20 percent were unsure.
  • The Canadian government announced this week that it would reopen the U.S.-Canada border to fully vaccinated travelers on Aug.9. The decision is likely to be welcomed in the United States: according to Canadian pollster LegerAmericans supported reopening the border to all travelers by the end of August, from 74 to 26 percent (the question did not mention a vaccination requirement). However, Canadians are significantly more nervous about the prospect: Leger found that only 48 percent of them supported reopening the border and 52 percent opposed.
  • TO YouGov / CBS News Poll revealed that Americans are ambivalent about how to change electoral laws: 38 percent said voting should be easier, 35 percent said there should be no change, and 27 percent said it should be made more difficult. But party identification crosstabs reveal why the issue inspires so much acrimony: 60 percent of Republicans said they believed facilitating voting would help Democrats win more elections, while 61 percent of Democrats believed. that making the vote more difficult would help Republicans win more.

Biden approval

According to the FiveThirtyEight presidential approval tracker, 52.2 percent of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing as president, while 42.8 percent disapprove (a net approval rating of +9.4 points ). At this time last week, 51.1 percent approved and 42.6 percent disapproved (a net approval rating of +8.5 points). A month ago, Biden had an approval rating of 51.8 percent and a disapproval rating of 42.6 percent, for a net approval rating of +9.2 points.

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