HIGH POINT, N.C., July 27, 2020 – A new High Point University Poll finds large majorities of North Carolina registered voters see the coronavirus as a major threat to the U.S. economy (79%), the world economy (79%), the North Carolina economy (75%) and the health of the U.S. population (62%). Only a little over one-third of these registered voters said the coronavirus is a major threat to their personal health (37%) and to their personal financial situation (35%).

When asked how much of a risk to their health and well-being certain activities are right now, the majority of registered voters in North Carolina said attending a sporting event (76%), dining in at a restaurant (66%), taking a vacation (61%), shopping at retail stores (61%), going to salons, barber shops, or spas (58%), going to the grocery store (56%), and attending in-person gatherings of friends and family outside your household (53%) were either a large or moderate risk 

Activities that majorities of these same registered voters say are a small risk or no risk include having food delivered to your home (72%) and picking up take out from a restaurant (65%). Registered voters in North Carolina were nearly split on whether or not returning to their normal place of employment was a large or moderate risk (39%) or a small or no risk (44%).

The actions that the majority of registered voters feel are effective in keeping them safe from the coronavirus include washing your hands with soap or using hand sanitizer frequently (87%), avoiding contact with people who could be high-risk (81%), avoiding public spaces, gatherings, and crowds (65%), avoiding airplanes (63%), avoiding hospitals and clinics (59%), seeing a doctor if you feel sick (57%), wearing a face mask (54%), and praying (50%). And just under half of those responding said avoiding restaurants (46%) and seeing a doctor if you feel healthy but worry that you were exposed (38%) were also very effective actions to keep them safe from the virus.

The HPU Poll also asked registered voters how much they trust a variety of sources of information about the coronavirus. The majority said they trusted their physician (65%) a lot. Other sources of information that respondents trust a lot were the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (48%), local public health officials such as officials from their county health department (41%), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (36%), the World Health Organization (36%), and their close friends and members of their family (25%).

Registered voters also indicated there were several sources they don’t trust at all including contacts on social media (49%), national newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today (39%), national news networks like Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC (35%), coworkers, classmates, or other acquaintances (34%), their local newspaper (31%), their local TV news (28%) and public television and radio (27%).

“Registered voters in North Carolina expressed in the most recent HPU Poll that washing their hands with soap or using sanitizer and avoiding contact with people who could be high-risk are very effective ways at keeping them safe from coronavirus,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct instructor. “Our poll respondents also said attending a sporting event, dining out, or taking a vacation present the largest risk right now to their health and well-being.”

Registered Voters – Coronavirus Threat (June/July 2020)

How much of a threat, if any, is the Coronavirus outbreak to each of the following?  Would you say a major threat, a minor threat, or not a threat?

 

A major threat

A minor threat

Not a threat

(Don’t know/ Refused)

The U.S. economy

79

17

3

2

The world economy

79

16

2

2

The North Carolina economy

75

19

2

3

The health of the U.S. population

62

30

6

2

Your personal health

37

38

25

1

Your personal financial situation

35

33

32

1

(North Carolina registered voter telephone sample, surveyed June 15 – July 2 and July 5 – July 17, 2020, n = 422 and margin of sampling error is +/- 6.2 percent)

Registered Voters – Coronavirus Risk (June/July 2020)

How much of a risk to your health and well-being do you think the following activities are right now? For each of the following, please tell me if they are a large risk, moderate risk, small risk, no risk.

 

 

Large risk

Moderate risk

Small risk

No risk

(Don’t know/ Refused)

Attending a sporting event

59

17

14

8

3

Dining in at a restaurant

38

28

21

10

3

Taking a vacation

38

23

24

10

5

Going to salons, barber shops, or spas

32

26

28

12

2

Attending in-person gatherings of friends and family outside your household

25

28

31

14

2

Shopping at retail stores

23

38

26

11

2

Going to the grocery store

17

39

30

13

1

Returning to your normal place of employment

17

22

20

24

17

Having food delivered to your home

7

18

46

26

4

Picking up take out from a restaurant

7

26

45

20

3

(North Carolina registered voter telephone sample, surveyed June 15 – July 2 and July 5 – July 17, 2020, n = 422 and margin of sampling error is +/- 6.2 percent)

Registered Voters – Coronavirus Actions (June/July 2020)

How effective are the following actions for keeping you safe from coronavirus? Would you say very effective, somewhat effective, not very effective, not at all effective? 

 

Very effective

Somewhat effective

Not very effective

Not at all effective

(Don’t know/ Refused)

Washing your hands with soap or using hand sanitizer frequently

87

9

2

2

1

Avoiding contact with people who could be high-risk

81

11

2

3

3

Avoiding public spaces, gatherings, and crowds

65

20

6

7

2

Avoiding airplanes

63

19

5

8

5

Avoiding hospitals and clinics

59

25

7

7

2

Seeing a doctor if you feel sick

57

26

8

7

3

Wearing a face mask

54

24

7

13

2

Praying

50

12

9

24

4

Avoiding restaurants

46

26

16

11

2

Seeing a doctor if you feel healthy but worry that you were exposed

38

28

13

17

4

(North Carolina registered voter telephone sample, surveyed June 15 – July 2 and July 5 – July 17, 2020, n = 422 and margin of sampling error is +/- 6.2 percent)

Registered Voters – Coronavirus Actions (June/July 2020)

How much do you trust the following sources of information about the coronavirus? Would you say a lot, somewhat, a little, or not at all?

 

A lot

Somewhat

A little

Not at all

(Don’t know/ Refused)

Your physician

65

23

5

4

3

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

48

26

10

13

3

Local public health officials such as officials from your county health department

41

32

10

12

5

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

36

30

15

16

3

The World Health Organization (WHO)

36

27

10

24

4

Your close friends and members of your family

25

34

19

20

2

Public television and radio

19

34

16

27

4

Your local TV news

18

33

16

28

5

National newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today

16

25

14

39

6

National news networks like Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC

14

29

17

35

5

Your local newspaper

14

29

16

31

10

Your coworkers, classmates, or other acquaintances

7

29

23

34

7

Your contacts on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

6

17

21

49

8

(North Carolina registered voter telephone sample, surveyed June 15 – July 2 and July 5 – July 17, 2020, n = 422 and margin of sampling error is +/- 6.2 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers working remotely through the High Point University Survey Research Center, calling June 15 – July 2 and July 5 - July 17, 2020. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 422 registered voters interviewed on landline or cellular telephones. The Survey Research Center drew this sample from the voter file made public by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (https://www.ncsbe.gov/Public-Records-Data-Info/Election-Results-Data). The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.8 percentage points for registered voter respondents. Taking into account a design effect as a result of weighting, the adjusted margin of error is 6.2 percentage points. The data is weighted toward population (NC registered voters) estimates for age, gender, and race/ethnicity based on the parameters of the full voter file at the North Carolina State Board of Elections as well as education level based on US Census estimates. 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/2020/07/72memoA.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.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.® HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students. It is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for Best Regional Colleges in the South, No. 1 for Most Innovative Regional Colleges in the South and No. 1 for Best Undergraduate Teaching in the South. The Princeton Review named HPU in the 2020 edition of “The Best 385 Colleges” and on the Best Southeastern Colleges “2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list. HPU was recognized as a Great School for Business Majors and a Great School for Communication Majors. HPU was also recognized for Most Beautiful Campus (No. 18), Best College Dorms (No. 5) and Best Campus Food (No. 20). For nine years in a row, HPU has been named a College of Distinction with special recognition for business and education programs and career development, and The National Council on Teacher Quality ranks HPU’s elementary education program as one of the best in the nation. The university has 60 undergraduate majors, 63 undergraduate minors and 14 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the web at highpoint.edu.

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