Here's How People Feel About The Coronavirus Restrictions Where They Live

A new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds some Americans ready for a partial reopening, but few ready to resume life as normal.

Most Americans still support stay-at-home orders and are making an effort to stay at home themselves, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, even as views have been less unanimous than they were at the start of last month. Dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump and the U.S. government’s response to the crisis is continuing to mount, with the latter seeing negative numbers for the first time.

About one-fifth of Americans say there are too many restrictions in the place where they live, with 47% saying there’s about the right level of restrictions and 24% saying there aren’t enough. And given a binary choice, two-thirds of Americans say that states with stay-at-home orders are currently making the right decision, with 21% saying they’re making the wrong decision and the rest unsure.

As some states begin reopening to various extents, the poll finds many Americans holding views that fall somewhere between a willingness to maintain a full lockdown and a desire to do away with requirements entirely. Just shy of half, 46%, say that they’d like their area to maintain restrictions on some nonessential businesses and activities, but allow others to reopen. Another 30% say all nonessential businesses and activities should be shut down. Just 12% want to see all restrictions lifted.

The variation between those sets of results suggest that how poll questions are framed can have a significant effect. But it also shows that desire to completely reopen the country remains a minority position ― and that if pushed to choose, the public remains inclined to err on the side of caution.

Most of the public also remains cautious in their own behavior. Seventy-nine percent of Americans say they’re still trying to stay home as much as possible, down 10 points from the peak in early April, but still representing a vast majority of the nation, across demographic and partisan lines.

Of those who are currently trying to stay home, 54% say they’d continue to do so even if all restrictions were lifted where they live, 33% that they’d leave the house more but continue to take major precautions, and 10% that they’d go back to living as normally as possible.

Results of a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.
Results of a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.
Ariel Edwards-Levy/HuffPost

A 57% majority say they’re more concerned about states lifting restrictions too quickly, with 29% more concerned about states acting too slowly, and the rest unsure.

Americans’ opinions about the right local policies on the coronavirus divide along both political and geographical lines. Support for maintaining a complete shutdown is highest among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents living in cities and towns, 55% of whom want to see all nonessential businesses and activities shut down in their area. Support for total reopening is highest among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in towns and rural areas, 35% of whom say restrictions should be lifted entirely.

Results of a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.
Results of a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.
Ariel Edwards-Levy/HuffPost

Ratings for the U.S. government’s handling of the coronavirus have reached a low ebb, as have ratings for Trump’s performance. Americans say, 47% to 44% that they disapprove of the government’s response, the first time that number has been negative in HuffPost/YouGov polling since February. They say 48% to 42% that they disapprove of Trump’s response.

About two-thirds of Americans say they expect the outbreak to have a lasting effect on the U.S., with only about a quarter believing things will soon go back to normal.

Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted May 8-10 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some but not all potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate.

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