MU Law Poll finds strong support in state for school, business closings and limits on gatherings

The coronavirus.
The coronavirus.

Last updated on April 2nd, 2020 at 02:50 pm

Nearly nine in 10 registered voters in Wisconsin said closing schools and businesses and limiting public gatherings was the appropriate response to the coronavirus outbreak, according to the latest Marquette University Law School poll.

The poll, conducted from March 24 to March 29, found 86% of respondents said those actions were the appropriate response. Just 10% said the shutdowns are an overreaction.

The results were largely consistent across political, gender, age, education, income, racial and geographic lines.

There was some split on ideological lines. Seventy percent of “very conservative” respondents said it is an appropriate response and 80% shared that view among “conservative” respondents. Among “liberal” respondents, 95% said it is an appropriate response and that figure rose to 100% among “very liberal” respondents.

The poll, which sampled 813 registered voters, also found that 62% of respondents felt the Democratic National Convention should not be held as an in-person event. Just 22% said the convention should meet in Milwaukee in July as planned.

Majorities in each region of the state feel the convention should not be held as an in-person event, but support for holding it was slightly stronger in the southeastern portion of the state.

In the city of Milwaukee, 29% of respondents said the convention should take place and 24% felt that way in the rest of the Milwaukee media market. In Madison, just 20% support holding the event and 18% in Green Bay and Appleton said the DNC should meet as planned.

Republicans and Republican leaning independents were more likely to say the event should be held at 27% compared to 17% for Democrats.

A plurality of respondents, 47%, said they expect the coronavirus outbreak to be under control by the end of August at the earliest, including 11% who said sometime in the fall and 9% who said a year or more from now.

Just 44% expect the outbreak to be under control by the end of May.

The poll also found 30% of respondents, someone in the respondent’s family or both have lost a job or been laid-off because of the coronavirus outbreak. A majority, 51%, in those groups have seen their hours reduced at work and 56% have been forced to work from home.

While 68% of respondents said they are very concerned about a coronavirus epidemic in the United States, just 30% said they are very worried about personally experiencing the virus.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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