60% of Voters Okay Allowing All Businesses to Re-open With Social Distancing Protocols

Sixty percent (60%) of voters nationwide  believe every business that establishes safe social distancing protocols should be allowed to open. The latest Scott Rasmussen national survey found that just 26% oppose the idea. 

Support for allowing all businesses to responsibly re-open comes from 78% of Republicans, 60% of Independents, and 45% of Democrats.

At first glance, these results appear to contradict data suggesting ongoing public support for the lockdowns. In fact, the very same poll found that only 23% of voters think government officials have gone too far in shutting things down. Seventy-one percent (71%) believe those officials have either not gone far enough (35%) or have found the right balance (36%).

 Digging a little deeper highlights the connections between these results.

 * Not surprisingly, just about everyone who thinks the government has gone too far believes that businesses should be allowed to open with appropriate safety protocols.

 * Among those who think the government response so far has been about right, 61% agree that all businesses should be allowed to re-open with safety protocols. Just 23% are opposed. The overall tone seems to be that the response has been okay so far and allowing businesses to open responsibly is the next logical step.

 * The most stunning response comes from those who think the government has not gone far enough in shutting things down. On the question of allowing every business to re-open, they are evenly divided: 39% say yes while 45% do not.

 In my weekly column for the Deseret News, I address some possible reasons for the apparent disconnect. It may be that “words like lockdown and shutdown being used in the public dialogue almost interchangeably with social distancing and flattening the curve.” 

Whatever the explanation, the fact remains that only one-out-of-four voters today is opposed to letting all businesses re-open in a responsible manner. That cuts strongly against the narrative that voters remain committed to continuing the lockdowns. At the same time, voters still expect a strong societal commitment to social distancing and appropriate health protocols.

Other recent data shows that 65% of voters are concerned that public officials may be using the pandemic as an excuse to infringe upon the Constitutional rights of individual Americans.

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The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from May 7-9, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online while 174 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Certain quotas were applied and the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.