HPU Poll: Coronavirus a Major Threat to the Economy in North Carolina, U.S. and the World

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HIGH POINT, N.C., May 8, 2020 – A new High Point University Poll finds that large majorities of polled North Carolinians see the coronavirus as a major threat to the U.S. economy (84%), world economy (79%), North Carolina economy (71%) and the health of the U.S. population (65%). Only about one-third of North Carolinians said that the coronavirus is a major threat to their personal financial situation (36%) or to their personal health (33%).

When asked how they would rate the job that different groups of people are doing to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, public health officials, such as those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, receive an excellent response rating from 23% of North Carolinians, while only 10% rated that group as having a poor response. President Donald Trump received an excellent response rating from 22% of poll respondents, while 37% give him a poor response.

Local elected officials (17%), ordinary people in local communities (17%) and state elected officials (13%) received lower excellent response ratings. The news media received the lowest excellent response rating (9%) and the highest poor response rating of (38%) from our poll respondents.

When asked about how different people and groups are reacting to the coronavirus outbreak, about one-third of North Carolinians said that ordinary people across the country (37%) and the federal government (31%) are not taking the outbreak seriously enough. Majorities of poll respondents said that the people in their household (84%), their local school system (80%), their local and state governments (71%), and ordinary people in their community (57%) are reacting about right.

“North Carolinians expressed in the most recent HPU Poll that they believe the coronavirus will be a major threat to the economy,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct instructor. “However, our poll respondents said that most people and groups are reacting in the right way in response to the coronavirus.”

All adults – Coronavirus Response (April/May 2020)

How would you rate the job each of the following is doing responding to the coronavirus outbreak? Please rate using excellent, good, only fair or poor.

  Excellent Good Only Fair Poor (Don’t know/ Refused)
Public health officials such as those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 23% 42% 22% 10% 3%
Donald Trump 22% 24% 16% 37% 3%
Your local elected officials 17% 40% 23% 12% 8%
Ordinary people in your local community 17% 36% 27% 17% 3%
Your state elected officials 13% 43% 27% 14% 3%
The news media 9% 26% 21% 38% 6%

 

(All adult North Carolina resident landline and cell phone sample, surveyed April 16 to May 1, 2020, n = 404 and margin of sampling error is +/- 4.9 percent)

All adults – Coronavirus Threat (April/May 2020)

How much of a threat, if any, is the coronavirus outbreak for…

  A major threat A minor threat Not a threat (Don’t know/ Refused)
The U.S. economy 84% 11% 2% 3%
The world economy 79% 14% 2% 6%
The North Carolina economy 71% 20% 3% 5%
The health of the U.S. population 65% 29% 4% 2%
Your personal financial situation 36% 41% 19% 4%
Your personal health 33% 46% 19% 3%

(All adult North Carolina resident landline and cell phone sample, surveyed April 16 to May 1, 2020, n = 404 and margin of sampling error is +/- 4.9 percent)

All adults – Coronavirus Reaction (April/May 2020)

Now, thinking about how different people and groups are reacting to the coronavirus outbreak, how would you say each of the following is reacting? Would you say overreacting to the outbreak, not taking the outbreak seriously enough, or reacting about right?

  Not taking the outbreak seriously enough Overreacting to the outbreak Reacting about right (Don’t know/ Refused)
Ordinary people across the country 37% 16% 38% 9%
The federal government 31% 13% 49% 7%
Ordinary people in your community 28% 10% 57% 5%
Your local government 11% 12% 71% 6%
Your state government 9% 15% 71% 6%
The people in your household 7% 7% 84% 3%
Your local school system 3% 9% 80% 8%

(All adult North Carolina resident landline and cell phone sample, surveyed April 16 to May 1, 2020, n = 404 and margin of sampling error is +/- 4.9 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers working remotely through the High Point University Survey Research Center, calling on April 16 – May 1. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 404 adults interviewed on landline or cellular telephones. The Survey Research Center contracted with dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/ to acquire these samples. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.9 percentage points for all adult respondents. The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education level based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2020/05/71memoA.pdf.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, chair and associate professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald is the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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