We released the remaining results of the June 2020 UT/Texas Politics Project Poll today, including responses to a large battery of questions on attitudes toward the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic that reveal how Texans’ concerns about COVID-19 decreased even as the pandemic was surging in Texas in late June (the survey was conducted between June 19-29). The overall decline in concern was evident in both attitudes and reported behaviors. In most measures, Republicans as a group convey lower levels of concern about vulnerability to COVID-19 and its effects, and report following public health guidliness for slowing the spread of the pandemic at lower rates than do Democrats and politicial independents.
- When asked to consider the trade off between fighting the pandemic and helping the economy, a majority of Texans, 53%, think it is more important to try to control the spread of the Coronavirus even if it hurts the economy. 38% said it was more important to help the economy even if it hurts efforts to control the spread of the virus.
- Texans’ approval of governments’ handling of the pandemic decreased for all levels of government – federal, state, and local – though Texans still give the most positive ratings to local governments, as they did in April. State government saw the largest decrease in net approval in part due to a 15-point increase in those who expressed disapproval.
- The share of Texans who say that efforts to deal with the pandemic in Texas are going badly increased sharply between April and June, from 29% to 51%, while those who said it was going well fell from 66% to 29%.
- Fewer Texans were concerned about both the spread of the Coronavirus in their communities, and about contracting (or a family member contracting) the virus in the latest poll than they were in April. The share of Texans who reported being “extremely” or “very” concerned about the spread of the coronavirus in their community decreased from 54% in April to 47% in June.
- While 81% of Texans reported “wearing a mask when in close contact with people outside” their homes, nearly one in five Texas voters report they are not heeding this public health advice. (Data collection ended 4 days before Governor Abbott issued an executive order increasing legal requirements for mask wearing in most public settings.)
- The share of Texans who reported that they were only leaving their residence when they “absolutely” had to saw a dramatic decrease from 63% in April to 37% in June. Those who reported “living normally, coming and going as usual” increased from 9% to 19%.
- As schools across the state make plans for the Fall semester, 65% of Texans think it is unsafe to send their children to school.
Follow the links below for more detailed results in each subject area.
Within subject areas, individual item results are hyperlinked to graphics including cross tabulations by party identification, ideology, race, gender, religiosity, and other selected demographic and attitudinal characteristics.
The Texas Politics Project poll also included quesions on a wide variety of topics including race and policing, conditions in Texas, and job approval ratings for the state's major statewide officials. There are links to a summary of all results and a crosstab file at the top of this page. As always, these files are available in the Texas Politics Project polling data archive, along with a data file and codebook. All the graphics in this post as well as hundreds of others from the June poll are available at our polling data archive and at our "latest poll" page.
Some points of interest
A majority of Texans consider the Coronavirus/COVID-19 “a significant crisis”, though the size of this majority shrunk from 66% in April to 57% in June.
|A significant crisis||57%|
|A serious problem but not a crisis||29%|
|A minor problem||10%|
|Not a problem at all||4%|
|Don't know/No opinion||1%|
There was little change in Democratic and independent assessments, but the share of Republicans who consider the pandemic a significant crisis dropped from 48% to 29% between April and June; the share of Republicans who viewed it as “a minor problem” or not a problem at all increased from 7% to 23% over the same period.
|A significant crisis||88%||52%||29%|
|A serious problem but not a crisis||9%||29%||46%|
|A minor problem||1%||7%||18%|
|Not a problem at all||0%||9%||5%|
|Don't know/No opinion||1%||4%||1%|
When asked to consider the trade off between fighting the pandemic and helping the economy, a similar majority of Texans, 53%, think it is more important to try to control the spread of the Coronavirus even it hurts the economy; 38% said it was more important to try to help the economy even if its hurts efforts to control the spread of the virus.
|Control the virus||53%|
|Help the economy||38%|
|Don't know/No opinion||9%|
In an echo of the increasingly partisan political debates that have raged since the efforts to slow the spread of the virus became widespread in the U.S., there were stark differences between Republicans, 65% of whom prioritized helping the economy, and Democrats, 88% of whom prioritized controlling the spread of the virus.
|Control the virus||88%||48%||24%|
|Help the economy||7%||39%||65%|
|Don't know/No opinion||6%||13%||11%|
The share of Texans who say that efforts to deal with the pandemic in Texas are going badly increased sharply between April and June, from 29% to 51%, while those who said it was going well fell from 66% to 29%.
|Don't know/No opinion||2%|
|Don't know/No opinion||4%|
Looking at the national level, the share who said efforts in the U.S. were going badly increased from 40% to 51%, while those who said it was going well decreased from 56% to 46%.
|Don't know/No opinion||3%|
|Don't know/No opinion||5%|
The share of Texans who reported being “extremely” or “very” concerned about the spread of the coronavirus in their community decreased from 54% in April to 47% in June. The share who reported being “not very” or “not at all” concerned about spread in their community increased from 17% to 26%.
|Not very concerned||17%|
|Not at all concerned||9%|
|Don't know/No opinion||1%|
The share reporting being “extremely” or “very” concerned about either themselves or family members contracting the virus decreased from 54% to 48%, while those who reported being “not very” or “not at all” concerned increased from 17% to 27%.
|Not very concerned||17%|
|Not at all concerned||10%|
|Don't know/No opinion||1%|
A majority of Texans now believe the virus is far from being contained enough for a return to normal anytime soon, though a sizable share inexplicably believe that the virus is already contained enough to resume many normal activities. 55% think it will take longer than a few months before the virus is contained enough to allow for a return to normal activities, though 12% say that the country has already achieved containment.
|It is already||12%|
|In the next few weeks||9%|
|In the next few months||22%|
|In the next year||29%|
|A year or more||26%|
The divergence in views among Texans, with some seeing COVID-19 as a long term problem while others see the problem already contained, is rooted in partisan differences. While Republicans are now more likely than they were in April to expect it to take longer than a few months to contain the spread of COVID-19, they remain much more likely than Democrats to believe the virus will be contained in the next few months or sooner. Almost one in five Republicans (19%) think the virus is already sufficiently contained so as to allow for a return to normal activities.
|It is already||2%||15%||19%|
|In the next few weeks||3%||5%||15%|
|In the next few months||12%||15%||32%|
|In the next year||38%||26%||21%|
|A year or more||42%||29%||10%|
The share of Texans who reported that they were only leaving their residence when they “absolutely” had to saw a dramatic decrease from 63% in April to 37% in June, with those who reported “living normally, coming and going as usual” more than doubling from 9% to 19%.
|Living normally, coming and going as usual||19%|
|Still leaving my residence, but being careful when I do||41%|
|Only leaving my residence when I absolutely have to||37%|
|Not leaving home||3%|
|Living normally, coming and going as usual||9%|
|Still leaving my residence, but being careful when I do||20%|
|Only leaving my residence when I absolutely have to||63%|
|Not leaving home||9%|
Among a battery of possible negative economic and social impacts, educational disruption was most common: A third of Texans (33%) report that either they or a family member has experienced an interruption in their education as a result of the pandemic.
|Have not experienced||67%|
The economic and social hardships accompanying the pandemic have been unevenly experienced by Texans: 42% of Latinos, 36% of African Americans, and 28% of whites reported such an interruption. African Americans and Latinos were also more likely than whites to report being unable to pay bills, unable to pay rent or house payments, unable to find affordable childcare, and losing a job.
|Have not experienced||72%||64%||58%|
|Interruption of education||28%||36%||42%|
|Loss of savings or retirement funds||27%||24%||32%|
|Unable to pay bills||10%||27%||22%|
|Unable to pay your rent or house payment||8%||18%||18%|
|Unable to find childcare you can afford||4%||9%||11%|
As schools across the state make plans for the Fall semester, 65% of Texans think it is unsafe to send their children to school.
While 81% of Texans reported “wearing a mask when in close contact with people outside” their homes, nearly one in five Texas voters report they are not heeding this public health advice.
The 19% who reported not wearing masks included 31% of Republicans, 5% of Democrats, and 18% of independents. (Data collection ended 4 days before Governor Abbott issued an executive order increasing legal requirements for mask wearing in most public settings.) Overall, fewer Republicans reported engaging recommended measures in response to coronavirus/COVID-19 than did Democrats or independents.
While only 7% and 12% of African American and Hispanic/LatinX voters, respectively, report not wearing a mask, 25% of white Texans said that they are not wearing a mask when leaving home.
Large majorities of Texans still judge it unsafe to engage in most social activities, though larger shares say it’s safe to engage in a few selected activities: grocery shopping (72%), getting a haircut (59%), going to work (55%) and voting in person (54%).Texans are closely divided on the safety of eating at a restaurant — 49% say it’s safe, 51%, unsafe — and attending church (41% safe, 59% unsafe).
|Go grocery shopping||72%|
|Get a haircut||59%|
|Go to work||55%|
|Vote in person||54%|
|Stay in a hotel||50%|
|Eat at a restaurant||49%|
|Go to a shopping mall||36%|
|Send child to school||35%|
|Attend an outdoor event||30%|
|Go to a gym||29%|
|Fly on an airplane||27%|
|Go to a movie theater||27%|
|Go to a bar or club||23%|
|Attend an indoor event||21%|
|Go to protests||16%|
At least 80% of Texans report engaging in other personal behaviors recommended by public health authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as washing hands more frequently, avoiding touching their faces, avoiding other people as much as possible, and staying away from large groups.
|Washing hands more frequently||90%|
|Staying away from large groups||88%|
|Wearing a mask when outside your household||81%|
|Avoiding other people||80%|
|Avoiding touching your face||75%|
Texans are far from unanimous in their willingness to submit to practices necessary to implement a contact tracing program. They were especially reluctant to volunteer data from their phones — only 46% said they would provide access to their cell phone location data if they tested positive for the coronavirus. Only three-quarters of them (76%) would agree to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine if they were notified that they came into contact with someone who tests positive.
|Agree to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine||76%|
|Provide a list of all the people you’ve recently come into contact with||71%|
|Agree to weekly testing||66%|
|Provide access to your cell phone location data if you test positive||46%|
There were significant partisan differences in Texans’ responses to contact tracing measures: Democrats were consistently (and significantly) more willing to cooperate with such measures than were Republicans and, to a lesser degree, independents.
|Agree to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine||91%||74%||63%|
|Provide a list of all the people you’ve recently come into contact with||88%||66%||57%|
|Agree to weekly testing||83%||54%||54%|
|Provide access to your cell phone location data if you test positive||60%||36%||35%|
Only 59% of Texans say they would try to get a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection if it was available at low cost; 21% said they would not, and 20% were undecided.
|Don't know/No opinion||20%|
Texans’ approval of governments’ handling of the pandemic decreased for all levels of government – federal, state, and local – though Texans overall still give the most positive ratings to local governments, as they did in April. State government saw the largest decrease in net approval in part due to a 15-point increase in those who disapproved.
|Health care professionals||75%|
|Your local government||53%|
|Texas state government||47%|
|The news media||29%|
Texas Republicans generally gave higher approval ratings to the response of all three levels of government, though the relative ratings differed by partisanship. State government earned the highest group level of approval among Republicans (75%), followed by the federal government (67%) and respondents’ local government (60%). Local government scored the highest ratings among Democrats (50%), followed at some distance by the Republican-led state (17%) and federal (15%) governments.
|Health care professionals||84%||60%||71%|
|Your local government||50%||39%||60%|
|Texas state government||17%||36%||75%|
|The news media||50%||17%||12%|
Approval ratings of Governor Greg Abbott's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic remained net positive: 49% approved and 41% disapproved. This represented a 7-point drop in his positive rating in April, and a 12-point increase in his negative rating, amounting to a 19-point reduction in his net approval rating from + 27 in April to +8 in June.
|Neither approve nor disapprove||7%|
The weakening approval of the governor’s handling of the pandemic is mostly attributable to more negative reviews by Democrats and independents. Democratic approval levels decreased by 16-points between April and June (overall, plummeting from 30/51 to 14/75). Independents appeared to be paying more attention in June than in April, when 32% approved, 38% disapproved, and nearly a third (30%) didn’t offer an assessment. By June, 39% approved and 44% disapproved, and 17% didn’t offer an assessment.
|Neither approve nor disapprove||8%||7%||5%|
44% of Texans approved of President Donald Trump’s handling of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and 49% disapproved, a 4-point drop in his positive rating since April.
|Neither approve nor disapprove||5%|
Trump’s ratings remain overwhelmingly determined by partisanship. His ratings among independents remained statistically unchanged between June and April.
|Neither approve nor disapprove||2%||12%||6%|
The poll surveyed a sample of 1200 self-declared registered voters in Texas between June 19-29, 2020. The margin of error of the poll was +/-2.83%, (3.28% adjusted for weighting). Data was collected over the internet by YouGov. More detailed methodological information about how the poll was conducted is contained in the summary document released today.
You can also learn more about results in the UT/Texas Politics Project poll that explored Texans’ attitudes about race, policing and recent protest; politics, the state of the economy and life in Texas; and the national economy and political landscape.