In The Harris Poll Tracker (Week 116) fielded from May 13th to 15th, 2022 among 2,000 U.S. adults, we look at how Millennials and American men are in support of Elon Musk’s announcement to reinstate former President Trump’s Twitter account. We then look at how retirement lifestyles are changing with Edward Jones & Age Wave, how Americans are redefining what success looks like in partnership with Fortune, how Americans believe MLB jersey sponsorship patches are tacky with Front Office Sports, and a technology and telecoms industry snapchat based on Harris Brand Platform data. 

Tune in for our America This Week: From The Harris Poll audio event, this Friday at 10am EST on LinkedIn for a data-driven discussion between our CEO John Gerzema and CSO Libby Rodney. They’ll be covering the latest trends in society, the economy, and the consumer marketplace. 

As a public service, our team has curated key insights to help leaders navigate COVID-19. Full survey results, tables, and weekly summaries can be accessed for free at The Harris Poll COVID-19 Portal. We will continue to actively field on a regular cadence to track the shifts in sentiment and behaviors as the news and guidelines evolve.

Millennials, Men, & Musk for Trump’s Twitter Return

While Musk’s official purchase of Twitter still hangs in limbo, his announcement of reinstating former President Trump’s Twitter account has made headlines and our weekend polling reveals the debate is still going strong:

    • In mid-April, we found that Republicans, Millennials, and men were Musk’s strongest supporters in his announcement to purchase Twitter, and this weekend’s polling found that they are also the most supportive of Musk’s plan to reinstate former President Trump’s Twitter account (88%, 64%, 60%, respectively).  
    • Of those in support of Trump’s reinstatement: (70%) of gen pop claim he should be allowed back due to freedom of speech and (39%) believe banning politicians creates a dangerous precedent.
  • On the other side: Democrats (67%), Black Americans (58%), and women (50%) were more likely to oppose the potential reversal of Trump’s Twitter ban. 
  • Among those in opposition: (67%) of gen pop believe that any account, even public officials, should be banned if they are spreading misinformation
  • What’s more is that IF Trump’s account were to be reinstated, Twitters’ user demographics will likely shift: Republicans (45%), Millennials (42%), and men (35%) say they are more likely to use Twitter if Trump’s account is reinstated, meanwhile, (51%) of Democrats and (36%) of Gen X and Boomers are less likely to use Twitter.

Takeaway: Tech companies will have to be cognizant and transparent in their social media policies when engaging with their consumer bases as we found back in October 2021 that over half of Americans (57%) say it’s difficult for media companies to know where to draw the line when it comes to someone practicing their first amendment right or spreading hate speech.

Not Your Parents’ Retirement-Boomers & Gen X Redefine Their Golden Years: Edward Jones-Age Wave-Harris Poll

Baby boomers and Gen X are reimagining retirement, according to our new study in partnership with Edward Jones and Age Wave, as covered by Yahoo! Finance and CNBC

  • Only a quarter (27%) of pre-retirees and retirees view retirement similarly to their parents’ vision of “rest and relaxation” and instead, more than half (55%) view today’s retirement as “a new chapter in life.”
  • Retirement isn’t a number anymore: Pre-retirees and retirees say their “new chapter of life” will start after they stop working full-time (34%), begin receiving Social Security and/or a pension (22%), leave their career or job (17%), or when they achieve financial independence (17%) – only (10%) said retirement starts at a specific age. 
  • However, for almost 3 in 5 surveyed, retirement may even include working in some capacity: (22%) part-time, (19%) cycle between work and leisure, and (18%) full-time. 

Takeaway: Ken Dychtwald, psychologist, gerontologist, and founder and chief executive of Age Wave and Mona Mahajan suggests that “we have to remove this belief that everyone should stop working at 65 for three reasons: we can’t afford to, a bit of work is good for us, and work keeps us modern and socially connect with people of all ages.”

Americans Are Stepping Off The “Hamster Wheel” & Redefining What Success Looks Like: Fortune-Harris Poll

After two years of a life-altering pandemic, Americans are reevaluating their priorities when it comes to work and how it impacts their overall satisfaction according to our latest survey as covered by Fortune

  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans said their idea of a happy life shifted during the pandemic and the shift among younger workers was even more dramatic: (74%) of millennials and (68%) of Gen Z are reassessing their lives and goals.
  • Over half of Americans (55%) feel they’ve been sold false promises about what would make them happy and about (70%) of millennials feel deceived.
  • Willing to take big swings in their life: About (69%) of millennials surveyed reported that they’re actively seeking alternative lifestyles (e.g., moving cross-country, switching jobs, etc.) to create a happier life than they envisioned for themselves pre-pandemic.

Takeaway: “We started to see a [new] set of expectations about how people want to work, and how they’re willing to work now,” Libby Rodney, Chief Strategy Officer at The Harris Poll, says. “It’s really shifting the way that we think about energy, our personal wellbeing—and managing that energy over money.”

Fans Divided on MLB’s New Sponsored Patch Program: Front Office Sports-Harris Poll

Following the announcement that MLB would allow its teams to place a sponsored 4-by-4 patch on jersey sleeves starting in 2023, reception to the addition of on-uniform advertising is mixed according to our new polling data with Front Office Sports.

  • (39%) of Americans polled at least somewhat support MLB’s decision to permit advertisers on uniforms, with over half (51%) of MLB fans supporting the decision.
  • Americans understand the economics of the situation: (83%) at least somewhat agree that sponsorships are a good source of revenue for the teams, and (81%) see it as a good source of publicity for the brands.
  • Yet, (56%) of adults at least somewhat see the ad placements on jerseys as “tacky” (56% of MLB fans, 54% of non-fans).

Takeaway: The MLB will need to be tactful with their use of on-uniform advertising as back in August 2021 we found that a quarter of NFL fans said they would enjoy watching games less if they added sponsorships to the jerseys.

Technology & Telecoms: An Industry Snapshot

Our recent report on the state of the technology & telecoms industry explores consumer sentiment towards 5G, smart devices, and navigation app Waze’s growth. Using Harris Brand Platform data, we rank the leading technology brands by equity and growth. Here’s what we found:

  • An almost equal number of U.S. adults describe smart devices as essential (51%) as those who do not (49%).
  • While consumers attribute many positive attributes to smart devices, helpful (85%), convenient (83%), and informative (78%), almost half consider them to be invasive (48%) and overused (43%)
  • Many consumers express uncertainty as to whether 5G technology is harmful to people’s health (41%) or the environment (40%) but despite concerns about 5G, more than half of U.S. adults expect 5G access will help people (62%) or businesses (65%) be more productive. 
  • TikTok (+3.0%) and Instagram (+2.8%) topped the list of highest growth brands in brand equity from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022.

Takeaway: The only thing that remains consistent with technology is that it is always evolving. Companies must remain aware of which advancements excite consumers and what brings apprehension, so they can appropriately tailor their messaging and consumer education.

Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from May 13th to 15th, among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 U.S. adults.

John Gerzema headshot

John Gerzema


Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from May 13th to 15th, among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 U.S. adults.


Related Content