ARKANSAS, USA — More than 61% of Arkansas voters approve of President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic while almost 80% approve of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s performance, according to a survey by the Little Rock-based political consulting firm Impact Management Group.
The survey of 800 registered Arkansas voters conducted Mar. 23 also found the vast majority agree COVID-19 is a serious public health problem, and almost everyone agrees it’s a serious economic threat.
Almost 50% favor the state issuing a mandatory “shelter in place” order.
Another 29% strongly disapprove, while 5.6% somewhat disapprove. The rest were unsure.
Respondents’ views fell sharply along party lines, with 95.1% of Republicans approving of Trump’s performance, but only 14.4% of Democrats approving.
The breakdown among independents was 56.5% approving vs. 39.9% disapproving, while 68.1% of those saying they are “something else” approving versus 22.3% disapproving.
The poll found that 39.7% said they generally identify as Republican, while 27.8% identify as Democrat and 23.5% as independent. Another 9% identify as something else.
At the state level, 43.5% strongly approve of Hutchinson’s performance, while 36% somewhat approve.
Another 8.5% somewhat disapprove, while 5.7% strongly disapprove.
Hutchinson had the approval of Arkansans across the political spectrum, with his highest numbers among Republicans at 89.3%.
He also enjoyed the approval of 72.2% of Democrats, 78.2% of independents, and 68.1% identifying as something else.
Almost half of the respondents, or 49.55%, agreed with the idea that “Arkansas should impose more drastic measures such as a statewide mandatory ‘shelter in place’ order, which would permit people to only leave their homes for designated ‘essential’ purposes.”
Another 32.4% disagreed with that statement, while 18% were unsure. Most Arkansans believe the coronavirus is a threat to public health.
The poll found that 69.3% said it is “very serious,” while 21.6% said it is “somewhat serious.” Only 6% said it was “not too serious,” while 1.65% said it is “not serious at all.” Even higher percentages say the virus is a threat to the economy.
The poll found 88.3% saying it is a “very serious” threat, while 9.4% said it is “somewhat serious.” Only 1.5% said it is “not too serious,” while 0.85% said it is “not serious at all.”
Given those threats, 58.6% of respondents said policymakers should “make decisions that balance public health and economic concerns.
Another 37.3% said decisions should be made based primarily on protecting public health. Only 2.9% said decisions should be made primarily to protect the economy.
Mirroring their support of Trump’s performance, 56.1% said they did not blame the Trump administration for what the poll described as the “slow rollout and shortage of coronavirus testing.”
Another 35.7% said they did blame the Trump administration, while 8.2% said they were unsure.
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