Majority of the electorate also ready to allow students to go back to school
Contact: Paul Bentz, 602-528-3684
PHOENIX (May 28, 2020) – In the week following the easing of Arizona’s stay at home restrictions, the latest statewide survey conducted by HighGround, Inc. shows a plurality, not a majority, of likely voters (41.3%) believe that the state’s efforts to reopen and get back to business are “too fast.” However, another 38.5% of likely voters believed the efforts were “just about right” – revealing a deep partisan split among Arizona electorate.
Q. Do you believe that Arizona’s efforts to reopen and get back to business following the coronavirus are: [Rotate]
41.0% Too fast
38.5% Just about right
18.8% Too slow
1.8% Don’t know/Refused
Overall, a majority of Republicans in Arizona (53.3%) believe that Governor Ducey’s efforts to reopen the state are just about right with a significant 30.3% of GOP voters believing the efforts are too slow. A whopping 69.9% of Arizona Democrats believe the reopening is too fast with another 24.3% saying the efforts to be just about right. Independent and unaffiliated voters appear nearly split on the issue with 42.0% too fast and 35.7% just about right.
“Governor Ducey is handling his base constituency very well, taking criticism from members of his own party that he is acting too slowly, while at the same time enduring the criticism of more progressive voters who feel he is acting too fast. Leadership is always difficult, it is often said, you know you are doing the right thing when being criticized by both sides,” said J. Charles Coughlin, President and CEO of HighGround Inc.
In addition, more than half of all respondents believe that it will take the state’s economy a year or more to recover from the Coronavirus with 8.3% believing it could take more than three years for the state to fully recover.
Q. How long do you think it will take the Arizona economy to recover from the Coronavirus?
11.8% Less than 6 months
26.3% 6-11 months
36.3% 1-2 years
11.8% 2-3 years
8.3% More than 3 years
5.8% Don’t know/Refused
The survey also reveals differences in age groups regarding the state’s reopening, with 45.5% of voters 39 and under believing it’s “too fast,” nearly 10 points higher than voters over the age of 50. Female voters also tended to be more cautious with 46.6% choosing too fast which was 11 points higher than their male counterparts.
“Despite some pressure from a small vocal constituency, the slow and steady approach to reopening the state should be viewed as a success in the eyes of the Arizona electorate,” said Coughlin. “Granted there is still a significant portion of the state that believes things are moving ‘too fast.’ At the same time, many of them expressed a willingness to get back out in public to shop, eat, and visit friends and family. It is interesting to note that the older age cohorts are more supportive of opening more quickly. I believe that reflects their own concern about the country’s economic recovery in relation to their own retirement plans. Time will tell if the younger, more progressive cohorts start to become more comfortable with reopening or if it truly is a more partisan response.”
HighGround’s survey tested a randomized and rotated list of potential public activities and asked voters which they would be willing to participate in now that the executive order had expired.
Overall, voters expressed interest in visiting friends and relatives, small gatherings, dining, and retail shopping. With the exception of Republicans who were above 50% on all listed activities (excluding concerts) most voters eschewed large public gatherings such as movies, sporting events, bars, and concerts.
Q. I am going to read you several public activities, after each one, I am going to ask you if you are willing to participate in that activity now that the “stay at home” executive order has expired:
A majority of respondents also expressed support for allowing children back to school next year. Those with kids at home were among the most vocal with 57% voicing a desire to get their children back to school. Those without kids at home also supported, but to a lesser degree at 50.2% support. A majority of both Pima County and Rural Voters expressed support it with 54.4 and 70.1% respectively – a plurality of Maricopa County voters as well (45.5%). Overall, 14% of respondents said they weren’t sure or didn’t know if the state should allow children to go back to school. This audience is likely moveable as proposed precautions for the next school year are rolled out over the summer.
Coughlin concluded, “While shopping and dining will help get Arizona back to work, the real economic driver will be when children are able to go back to school. Getting kids back into the classroom is the next critical step to re-ignite our economy. Voters understand this – parents with kids at home especially – and will be ready for that to happen starting this fall.”
About the Survey
The N=400 survey was conducted among likely voters 5/18 through 5/22. The poll surveyed likely Arizona 2020 General Election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender. The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users. The partisan advantage was set at +4% GOP based on previous election trends and expected Presidential Election turnout. The margin of error is ±4.9%.
HighGround has recently conducted a survey on several issues facing Arizona in light of the ever changing political landscape leading into the 2020 elections. Over the next week, the team will be sharing the results of those surveys covering several issues including the Presidential match up, United States Senate match up, COVID-19 response, the reopening of the state, legalization of marijuana, and other issues.
Q. In general, would you say that the State of Arizona is heading in the right direction, or the wrong direction? [Definitely/Probably]
52.5% Total Right Direction
Q. Other than the coronavirus, what do you consider to be the top issue facing the State of Arizona today? [Randomize]
24.5% Immigration and Border Issues
22.5% Jobs and the Economy
2.8% State Budget
4.3% Don’t Know, Refused
The HighGround team has built a reputation of reliable and accurate polling over the past ten years – our research has been featured on Nate Silver’s 538, Real Clear Politics, Huffington Post, and many other publications. Visit our website to learn more about HighGround’s polling experience.