UGA survey finds most Georgia voters support statewide shelter-in-place order

— By Jake Drukman, The Red & Black, April 29, 2020 — About 76% of Georgia voters support or somewhat support a statewide shelter-in-place order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, according to a survey conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday. Only about 9% oppose or […]
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About 76% of Georgia voters support or somewhat support a statewide shelter-in-place order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, according to a survey conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

Only about 9% oppose or somewhat oppose such an order, the survey showed.

UGA conducted the online survey between April 21 and 25, beginning just a day after Gov. Brian Kemp announced that he would allow certain businesses to reopen starting on April 24. The university surveyed 1,233 registered Georgia voters with a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, according to the AJC.

Around 62% of voters disapprove of the governor’s decision to begin reopening restaurants, theaters, barbershops and other businesses. Some Athens businesses, such as Nails So Dep, announced they would reopen after Kemp’s announcement, but several remain closed for in-person service, including Pageboy Salon, Pulaski Heights BBQ and Fitness @ Five.

Voters are divided on the steps Kemp has taken to contain COVID-19, with 44% of respondents saying the measures are appropriate and 41% saying the state hasn’t gone far enough. About 15% say the state has gone too far, according to the AJC.

Of the respondents, 45% approve of how the state is responding to the pandemic, while about 36% disapprove. Around 50% of voters support the federal government’s handling of the crisis, though only about 38% of the respondents are satisfied with the way Congress has handled it, according to the AJC.

Around 75% of Georgians support government mandates requiring “certain businesses” to close, according to the poll. Almost 80% of respondents said they favor or somewhat favor closing in-person classroom learning for the rest of the academic year, according to the AJC.

Of the respondents, two-thirds said they support the decision to postpone Georgia’s presidential primary to June 9. About 60% support Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s decision to send ballot request forms to Georgia’s active voters, according to the AJC.

About 80% of respondents said they are worried about a family member being exposed, with about 52% being extremely or very worried, according to the AJC. 25% of respondents said they’re working less under the threat of the disease and 13% said they lost their jobs. About 60% say they’re engaging in more social distancing. The majority of respondents reported increased handwashing and use of masks, according to the AJC.

Nearly 40% of Georgians say they’ve had no change in their financial saving habits, while about 23% said they’re saving less. 51% reported that they’re ordering more takeout from restaurants than usual, according to the AJC.