America these days has many powerful political disagreements, even for things that, at least superficially, don’t seem to be overtly political. One of them is the government response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. It has divided the country politically as few other issues in recent years, new I&I/TIPP data show.
Those responding to the latest poll were asked whether the economic lockdowns, public school closures, masking requirements and social restrictions were “necessary or unnecessary to address the COVID virus.”
The majority believe the government’s actions were needed. By 57% to 30%, Americans answered that the COVID restrictions, however draconian and painful, were “necessary” rather than “unnecessary.” Another 13% said they were not sure.
These results emerged from a national online I&I/TIPP Poll of 1,359 adults, taken from November 2-4. The poll’s margin of error is +/-2.8 percentage points.
When you look at the breakdown by political affiliation, the COVID schism clearly comes into view.
Among Democrats, an overwhelming 79% said the COVID lockdown restrictions were necessary, versus just 35% of Republicans. Among independents, 50% said they were needed.
But just 12% of Democrats said they were “unnecessary,” compared to 52% of Republicans and 32% of independents. Only 9% of Democrats were unsure; 13% of Republicans and a sizeable 18% of independents weren’t certain.
So approval of the COVID restrictions appears to have been mostly a Democratic phenomenon.
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Author: Ruth King
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