Texans, on the whole, appear to be taking the threat of the coronavirus less seriously amid a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. That’s according to a new poll by the Texas Politics Project based at the University of Texas at Austin.
The group surveyed 1,200 self-declared registered voters in Texas between June 19 and 29. Director Jim Henson told Texas Standard host David Brown on Tuesday that there’s a strong divide along party lines when it comes to how Texans perceive the threat of COVID-19.
“The share of Republicans who consider the pandemic a significant crisis dropped from 48% to 29% between April and June,” Henson said. “And the share of Republicans who viewed it as a minor problem or not a problem at all increased from 7% to 23%.”
By comparison, there was little change in how seriously Democrats and Independents viewed the pandemic since the Texas Politics Project’s April poll, also related to the coronavirus.
The group asked participants about face masks – what Henson called “the symbol of how you view the virus.” Eighty percent of respondents said they wear masks in public; 20% said they didn’t.
Pollsters also asked Texans about opinions related to other facets of the pandemic. Here’s what they found:
– About 75% of respondents would self-quarantine if they tested positive for COVID-19
– About 66% would agree to weekly testing
– Less than half – 46% – would allow contact tracers access to their cell phone location data if they tested positive
When it comes to reopening schools in the fall, Henson said pollsters found a majority of Texans – 65% – felt sending kids to school was unsafe.
“There’s just a general sense out there among a big chunk of Texas, and a significant majority, that it’s not safe yet,” Henson said
Web story by Caroline Covington.