Friday, 20 March 2020 14:09

Poll breaks down N.C. residents’ thoughts about coronavirus pandemic

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Registered Democrats are more likely to worry about the coronavirus than are Republicans, a new poll from the right-leaning Civitas Institute shows. 

Harper Polling, on behalf of Civitas Institute, surveyed 500 likely state voters March 15-17. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.38%. 

The poll release comes just as the state’s share of coronavirus cases rises to 137. To try to slow the spread of the virus, Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered all public schools to close for two weeks. The governor also issued a prohibition on mass gatherings of more than 100 people and ordered restaurants and private clubs to restrict service to takeout and delivery. 

A large majority of respondents are tuned in to COVID-19 coverage. Nearly 75% said they are very closely following the news about the pandemic, but 20% are only somewhat closely paying attention to the coverage. 

While 51% aren’t worried about COVID-19, 48% are concerned about the virus.

“Unsurprisingly, North Carolinians are concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Civitas Institute President Donald Bryson in a news release. “The heartening piece of data is that voters are showing faith in executive leadership, regardless of party, with both President Trump and Gov. Roy Cooper above water in approval ratings.”

Some demographic groups are more concerned about the virus than others. Sixty percent of registered Democrats are worried about the virus, compared to 43% unaffiliated and nearly 38% of registered Republicans. Women are more likely to be concerned when compared to men.  

A little more than 50% of respondents think the Trump administration is doing a good job handling the pandemic, but 41% disapprove. Similarly to the breakdown of who is most worried about the virus, Republicans and Democrats are divided on how well the Trump administration is handling the pandemic. 

Nearly 90% of Republicans approve of how the Trump administration has responded to the viral outbreak, but Democrats are significantly less assured. Only 26% of Democrats think the Trump administration is doing a good job handling the ordeal.