AP-NORC poll: Broad support for efforts to control outbreak

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that a majority of Republicans and Democrats alike approve of how state and local governments are handling the coronavirus outbreak. Fewer than half of Americans say the same of the response by the federal government and President Donald Trump, opinions driven by deeply partisan views about the president and his administration.

Among other findings in the survey, conducted March 26-29 among American adults:

— Worries about the coronavirus continue to grow. Half of Americans are very or extremely worried they or someone in their family will be infected, up from 31% two weeks ago and 22% six weeks ago. About 34% are somewhat worried, while just 16% say they are not worried about COVID-19. Democrats are more likely to say they’re very worried than Republicans, 61% to 35%.

— Across party lines, overwhelming shares of Americans favor a number of actions aimed at limiting the spread of the outbreak, including restricting travel into the U.S. for people from other countries (82% overall), requiring American citizens returning to the U.S. from other countries to quarantine themselves for 14 days (88%), closing schools (83%) and requiring Americans to limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people (84%).

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— A slightly smaller share, 78%, support requiring Americans to stay in their homes. Roughly three-quarters also favor restricting travel within the U.S., requiring Americans to postpone non-essential medical treatment and requiring bars and restaurants to close.

— Sixty-one percent of Americans say they support postponing elections scheduled to take place in the next two months — a view held consistently by both Democrats and Republicans.

— Americans in states that had stay-at-home orders in place when the survey began are more likely than those in states that did not to approve of their state’s response, 63% to 51%.

— Americans are skeptical that their area hospitals are prepared to handle the outbreak. Just 15% of Americans overall say hospitals are very or extremely prepared; 38% say they are not very or not at all prepared. About half of Democrats, but just about 2 in 10 Republicans, think their area hospitals are not prepared to handle the outbreak.