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Poll shows smaller majority supports ‘safer at home’ order

A majority of Wisconsin residents still support the “safer at home” order issued by Gov. Tony Evers in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but that support is down from where it was six weeks ago, according to a Marquette University Law School poll released Tuesday.

In March, 86% of the respondents to a poll said the order that closed nonessential businesses, shut down schools and encouraged people to stay at home was appropriate. Only 10% said it was an overreaction.

But in the latest poll, conducted between May 3 and Thursday, 59% said “safer at home” was appropriate and 26% said it was an overreaction.

The change is being driven by increasing partisan polarization, said the pollster Charles Franklin.

Approval of Gov. Tony Evers’ handling of the virus has declined since March; 64% approve and 32% disapprove. His approval rating in March was 76%, and disapproval was at 17%.

However, more Wisconsin voters said they trusted Evers more than the Wisconsin Legislature to decide when to begin reopening and relaxing restrictions on public gatherings. The answers split along partisan lines.

Chart showing May Marquette Law School poll results

People aren’t as concerned about the coronavirus now as they once were, according to the poll. Half of the respondents to the latest poll said they were very concerned about the virus in the latest poll, down from 68% in March.

Despite having less concern, Wisconsinites are more pessimistic about when things will return to normal. The majority of people polled in May believe it will take about a year to get the virus under control. In March,  the majority said they expect the virus would be under control by the end of May.

The poll was conducted May 3-7. The sample included 811 registered voters in Wisconsin, interviewed by phone, with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.

 

About Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

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