3 Polls Find Most Americans Support Shelter-in-Place
Most say health officials should guide next steps, but the desire to get back to work is growing
Three separate polls done in recent days find the majority of Americans, on a bipartisan basis, support the current shelter-in-place guidelines, even as many of them are concerned about the economy. The surveys also reveal rising optimism about the worst possibly being behind us, at least among Republicans, and a growing desire to get the economy going.
The latest poll, released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation, finds 80% of adults support “strict shelter-in-place policies to limit the coronavirus’ spread.” That is the view of 61% of Republicans, 84% of Independents and 94% of Democrats, the pollsters found. Levels of optimism about the future vary:
“Republicans are now more optimistic than Democrats and independents that the crisis is getting better,” according to the Kaiser analysis. “A slight majority of Republicans (53%) now believe ‘the worst is behind us,’ while most Democrats (64%) and independents (56%) believe the ‘worst is yet to come.’” Overall, 51% think the worst is yet to come, down from 74% three weeks ago.
About 80% of respondents said they could keep up the stay-at-home guidelines for at least another month, with a third saying they could handle it for six months.
A separate survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, released yesterday, found 61% of people “feel the steps taken by government officials to prevent infections of COVID-19 in their area are about right.” That included 62% of Democrats and 59% of Republicans. Overall, 12% say the measures where they live have gone too far.
Roughly 80% “support measures that include requiring Americans to stay in their homes and limiting gatherings to 10 people or fewer — numbers that have largely held steady over the past few weeks,” according to the AP results.
A third poll, asking if people should stay at home “until the doctors and public health officials say it is safe,” found agreement among 88% of Democrats, 70% of Independents and 55% of Republicans. The survey, announced April 21 by Reuters/Ipsos, found sentiment may be changing, however: Some 45% of Republicans think “stay-at-home orders should be lifted to get the economy going again,” up from 24% in a similar poll in late March.