More than 44 percent of Americans are in favor of shutting down the country again in response to COVID-19, according to an Epoch Times national survey of likely voters conducted by Big Data Poll.
More than 36 percent of the respondents opposed the idea and almost 20 percent were undecided, according to the poll, conducted Aug. 26–30.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said in late August that he would shut down the country if scientists recommended the move to deal with the pandemic.
“I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists,” Biden told ABC in an interview recorded on Aug. 21.
Politics appears to have an influence on Americans’ views on the issue. A majority of Democrats (63.2 percent) support a nationwide shutdown while a majority of Republicans (54.9 percent) oppose it.
Opposition to a nationwide shutdown increases with age. About 24 percent of survey takers aged 18–29, who have the lowest risk among the groups surveyed of suffering serious effects from COVID-19, opposed shutting down the country with the percentage growing in each older age group. More than 49 percent of those aged 65 and over said they oppose a national lockdown. People aged 65 and over account for nearly three-quarters of all COVID-19 deaths.
Women support a national lockdown much more than men, the poll found. More men opposed (42.8 percent) the idea than those who supported it (39.5 percent). Among women the opposite was true, with 48.2 percent supporting another shutdown and 30.6 percent opposing one.
President Donald Trump, who is running for reelection against Biden, limited his executive action on lockdowns to a set of guidelines and left it up to state governors to make lockdown decisions. The president delegated the decisions about potential shutdowns to state governors, who could take steps based on the local conditions.
The Biden campaign is using Trump’s handling of the pandemic as its main line of attack. Biden’s statements on other issues regularly dovetail into criticism of the Trump administration’s pandemic response. In a recent example, the former vice president pivoted from a statement on riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, toward criticism on Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
“Kenosha is in pain, not only from the tragedy of senseless violence, but from the immense and avoidable suffering wrought by the Trump administration’s failed and reckless management of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic devastation that has followed,” Biden said.
Biden’s proposed solutions to the pandemic largely mirror the actions already taken by the Trump administration with the notable exception of a nationwide mask mandate. The Epoch Times poll found that more than six in 10 likely voters support a nationwide mandate for wearing masks outside one’s home.
The Epoch Times National Poll was conducted by Big Data Poll and interviewed 2,169 likely voters nationwide sourced via voter file-verified online survey panels from Aug. 26 to Aug. 30. The sampling error is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence interval projecting the electorate at 145 million.
The results were weighted based on gender, age, race, education, and region. The partisan affiliation breakdown was 36 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, and 32 percent independent/other, mirroring the Aristotle National Voter File Database.
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Read: Full Survey Results (pdf)