Uber, Lyft Get Attention After Travel Ban, but Opinion Doesn’t Shift Much

Rival ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft both found themselves in the news after responding to President Donald Trump’s executive order that bans refugees and travelers from seven predominantly-Muslim nations from entering the country. But the brands’ actions did not change perceptions of either company with many Americans.

Uber got largely negative attention, with the #deleteuber campaign spreading on social media after users thought the company was trying to profit off airport protests. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick attracted more negative attention for participating in a White House economic advisory panel, a position that he ultimately stepped down from after sustained opposition. 

Lyft, on the other hand, quickly pledged 1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union, a move that earned them plenty of positive attention.

But a little more than a week later, the brands’ actions only translated to a slight drop in the number of people who have a favorable opinion of Uber and just a one point uptick in favorable opinions for Lyft. 

According to Morning Consult Brand Intelligence polling, 51 percent of adults polled had a favorable opinion of Uber between Jan. 21 and 27. The following week, after the ban went into effect, it dropped to 46 percent. Lyft had 32 percent reporting a favorable opinion of the company between Jan. 21 and 27, and between Jan. 28 and Feb. 6 it increased to 33 percent.

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In a separate Morning Consult poll, 31 percent of people said they have a more favorable view of Uber because they publicly opposed the executive order, compared to 30 percent of people who said it gives them a less favorable view of the company.

Thirty-two percent of people said they have a more favorable view of Lyft after hearing about the company’s opposition to the immigration ban, and 27 percent of people said it made their perception of the company less favorable.

Young people, however, support each company more than their older counterparts. Forty-seven percent of people aged 18 to 29 say they view Lyft more favorably after taking a stand, 44 percent of people in that age group said the same about Uber.

Morning Consult Brand Intelligence surveys approximately 1,500 adults every week on company brands, and has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points. The topical Morning Consult poll was conducted with 2,123 adults between Feb. 2 and 4, with a margin of error of 2 percentage points. See crosstabs here and toplines here.

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