In The Harris Poll Tracker (Week 68) fielded June 11th to 13th, 2021 among 2,015 U.S. adults, we talk to parents about vaccinating their kids, take the pulse on enthusiasm for the return of free in-store samples, why millennials won’t be running for office, the role cryptocurrencies and the recent ransomware attacks and what it will take to recharging the Electric Vehicle Market according to consumers. 

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.

No Parental Advisory on Vaccines

Now that vaccines are approved for children over 12, we checked in with parents to get a read on willingness to vaccinate their children and support for vaccine mandates at school. Turns out many are in full support: 

  • Over 6 in 10 (63%) of parents intend to get their child(ren) ages 12-17 vaccinated (54%) or have already done so (9%). Interestingly, (12%) say they intend to get their kid vaccinated but only one of the two recommended doses.
  • Only a quarter (25%) do not intend to get their child vaccinated. Why not? Many say they are waiting for more research to prove the safety (51%) and effectiveness (37%) of these vaccines.
  • The New York Times answers your questions on what parents should know about vaccinating children under 18.
  • Majority support required vaccines at school: (64%) of parents support K-12 schools requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students old enough to be vaccinated, and even more (72%) support mandated vaccines for teachers and school staff.
  • Parents are staying vigilant about social distancing: many say they are strictly enforcing social distancing at indoor restaurants (73%), small indoor gatherings (71%), parks or playgrounds (67%), and summer camps (61%).

Takeaway: With the more contagious variants on the rise, vaccinations are even more critical and kids are one of the final pieces to herd immunity…

How the Return of In-Store Sampling Is Going Over with Consumers: Ad Age-Harris Poll

Our new survey, in partnership with Ad Age, shows a surprising acceptance of the tactic that was shelved during the pandemic.

  • Two thirds (65%) of Americans said they would partake in in-store sampling once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. A stark comparison from the (19%) who said they have done so during the pandemic’s peak.
  • The pandemic did not change attitudes for good: Half (49%) say it is a good idea for stores to reintroduce in-store samples. Just (22%) said it was a bad idea, and (29%) weren’t sure.
  • But, there are reasons shoppers might hesitate to try samples in stores: (40%) said they wouldn’t sample foods because they say it’s unsanitary, and (35%) concerned about catching COVID-19 via in-store food samples.
  • Samples are key to marketing: (86%) said they have purchased an item after sampling. Appetizers or hor d’oeuvres were the most popular item to buy after sampling (51%), followed by cheese (48%) and dessert or baked goods (47%).

Takeaway: Samples aren’t the only thing making a comeback. Whole Foods is among the retailers resuming some self-serve areas, such as salad bars. And Starbucks will soon allow customers to again bring reusable cups – this time the barista will put a customer’s clean cup into a ceramic mug, limiting the amount of contact.

Why Older Millennials Have No Plans to Run for Office

This week in our partnership series with CNBC “Middle-Aged Millennials,” we take a look at Older Millennials’ lack of interest in running for public office.

  • Most Older Millennials (54%) consider themselves to be politically active. On par with Younger Millennials (58%), but lacking compared to Gen Xers (66%).
  • However, only (12%) of Older Millennials say they have already run for public office or definitely plan to do so, posing the question of whether or not the benefits of running for office outweigh the (literal) costs.
  • Other generations, however, are a bit more ambitious: Nearly a third of Gen Zers say they’re definitely planning to run for office or have already done so, while about a quarter Younger Millennials say the same.

Takeaway: “This generation is burnt out — from moving up in the workforce to paying off student loans to buying a home and raising children,” says Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema. “Trying to balance all of these pressures while maintaining some semblance of a social life — that extra role as a school board or city council member might be a bridge too far.”

Cryptocurrency Owners Say They Want More Government Oversight of the Market to Combat Ransomware: Insider-Harris Poll

In our latest survey, shared exclusively with Insider, we found that following ransomware attacks, a majority of cryptocurrency owners in America want the government to step up regulations to combat hackers.

  • Most crypto owners are okay with regulations: (57%) of crypto owners support additional US regulation of cryptocurrency to combat the rise in the use of ransomware.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of Americans, including the crypto owners, favor additional regulation. Most Boomers (79%), and (56%) of Millennials are in favor of more oversight.
  • Americans want to see government counter measures: (82%) agree the government should be involved in helping to resolve ransomware attacks even when the target is private companies and not government agencies.
  • Financial system is viewed as top concern: (92%) of Americans are concerned about hackers targeting the financial industry, followed by healthcare (91%) and the government (89%). Retail (84%), education (83%), and entertainment (69%) do not see concern at as high of a level.

Takeaway: As cryptocurrencies grow in awareness, proponents will need to build trust in the technology by allowing for illicit activity to be regulated by governments – even if such action is anathema to crypto users.

Recharging the Electric Vehicle Market

Following in Tesla’s tire tracks, nearly every legacy automaker has announced plans to soon integrate new electric vehicles (EVs) into their fleets. While EVs have historically struggled to gain mass market appeal – data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics show that all-electric vehicles accounted for just 1.7% of the light vehicle market in 2020 – change is on the horizon.

  • Harris Poll research shows that (81%) of US adults are concerned about how brands contribute to pollution and (44%) are making a point to adopt eco-friendly behaviors, indicating that the country is primed to commit to going green.
  • Americans have some concerns brands will need to address: (88%) of all US adults have some concern about switching to an EV, with battery life and access to charging stations topping the list at (32%) and (20%) respectively.
  • Hyundai directly addresses top EV concerns by partnering with Electrify America, and following this late-April announcement our Harris Brand Platform found their brand equity jumped (13.5%).

Takeaway: EVs have been on the road for more than a decade, but this year marks the first time that the auto industry has put its full weight behind the initiative. Already half (51%) of US adults would consider buying an EV. As automotive brands continue to lower barriers to entry, that share will only increase as sales continue to go up.

Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from June 11 to 13, among a nationally representative sample of 2,015 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 June 11 to 13, among a nationally representative sample of 2,015 U.S. adults.


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