Trends in data from a year of polling reveal often dramatic differences in Texas attitudes and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic

The April 2021 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll adds a forth assessment of Texans’ attitudes about the coronavirus pandemic to the Texas Politics Project polling data archive, adding to attitudes collected in batteries from polls conducted in April, June, and October of 2020, and February and April of 2021. The time series allows reporters, researchers, elected leaders, public health officials, and the public a view of how Texans’ concerns about COVID, behaviors during the pandemic, and evaluations of the official responses have changed throughout a year of pandemic conditions in Texas.

We’ve presented the results below with little commentary or analysis to make them immediately available in the midst of continuing decisions by Texans and policy makers about how to adjust to pandemic conditions that are clearly lessening in severity in the state and most of the country, but have just as clearly not subsisted entirely - to say nothing of continuing crises in other parts of the world. For now, the trend graphics provoke mutiple interpretations of how Texans have responded to the pandemic, and suggest that the clear differences in responses to the pandemic among different groups reflect very difffences experiences of the pandemic and its effects. Every picture below tells multiple stories. (We took a first pass some of the results in this week's Second Reading podcast, though there will be much more to come. You can find this and other past episodes and subscribe to the Second Reading podcast in Apple PodcastsSpotify,  and Stitcher.)

To jump to a section of results, click on the link below. For a look at all of the results from the most recent poll, jump to the latest poll page. All of the polling data, including toplines, crosstabs, data files, code books, and full methodology statements, can be found in the data archive. Click on the table of contents below to jump to a section:

Concern
Behavior
Evaluations

About the polls: Each poll samples 1200 self-identified registered voters in the state of Texas. The data is weighted to the known characteristics of registered voters of Texas from the 2018 Current Population survey and 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Survey. The margin of error of the weighted data for the full sample of registered voters is +/- 2.8 percentage points, with higher margins of error for subgroups. For a full explanation of the poll, see any one of the recent methodology statements available in the data archive.

About the graphics: A link below  each graphic leads to a downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of that graphic. Lines can be turned off by clicking on their values in the legends at the bottom of each graphic, which allows for some customization when downloading.

In addition to these items, asked across multiple polls, many other items about the coronavirus pandemic have also been asked in the five polls conducted between April 2020 and April 2021. In addition to all of the polling data available in the data archive, graphical representations of all COVID related results can be found through the polling search.

 

Concern

In each of the surveys, Texas voters were asked to rate their assessment of the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic, their degree of concern about community spread, and their concern about contracting COVID (or someone they know contracting COVID). Click on the table of contents below to jump to a section:

Seriousness Assessment
     by Party
     by Race
Community Spread Concern
Personal Spread Concern
Containing COVID vs. Helping the Economy

 

Coronavirus Seriousness Assessments

Respondents were asked, "Would you say that the coronavirus/COVID-19 is..." and given the response options "a significant crisis," "a serious problem but not a crisis," "a minor problem," "not a problem at all," and "Don't know/No opinion."

Loading chart...
categoryA significant crisisA serious problem but not a crisisA minor problemNot a problem
April 202066%26%4%2%
June 202057%29%10%4%
October 202053%29%11%6%
February 202153%32%9%4%
April 202152%28%13%5%
June 202146%28%16%8%
August 202152%30%11%5%
October 202142%34%14%7%
February 202243%34%15%6%
April 202222%37%20%18%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Coronavirus Seriousness Assessments by Party

Loading chart...
categoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
April 202091%56%48%
June 202088%52%29%
October 202087%45%24%
February 202085%48%26%
April 202185%46%24%
June 202177%37%23%
August 202188%41%24%
October 202176%37%15%
February 202266%46%19%
April 202236%26%8%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

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categoryA significant crisisA serious problem but not a crisisA minor problemNot a problem
April 202048%43%6%1%
June 202029%46%18%5%
October 202024%47%18%9%
February 202126%53%14%6%
April 202124%43%25%8%
June 202123%40%23%12%
August 202124%48%18%8%
October 202115%48%23%12%
February 202219%41%28%11%
April 20228%28%30%31%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

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categoryA significant crisisA serious problem but not a crisisA minor problemNot a problem
April 202091%6%2%1%
June 202088%9%1%0%
October 202087%9%2%1%
February 202185%11%2%1%
April 202185%12%2%0%
June 202177%17%5%1%
August 202188%10%1%0%
October 202176%19%2%1%
February 202266%29%4%0%
April 202236%50%8%3%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryA significant crisisA serious problem but not a crisisA minor problemNot a problem at all
April 202056%21%7%6%
June 202052%29%7%9%
October 202045%31%14%7%
February 202148%21%10%11%
April 202146%27%9%9%
June 202137%17%22%6%
August 202141%29%15%11%
October 202137%28%21%6%
February 202246%29%14%8%
April 202226%33%16%18%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Coronavirus Seriousness Assessments by Race

Loading chart...
categoryWhiteBlackHispanic
April 202064%81%65%
June 202049%82%63%
October 202044%75%65%
February 202148%76%53%
April 202145%75%58%
June 202138%69%55%
August 202143%77%62%
October 202134%66%52%
February 202233%69%54%
April 202216%41%25%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

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categoryA significant crisisA serious problem but not a crisisA minor problemNot a problem at all
April 202064%29%4%1%
June 202049%35%11%4%
October 202044%35%14%6%
February 202148%35%11%4%
April 202145%32%18%5%
June 202138%32%17%11%
August 202143%36%14%5%
October 202134%41%17%7%
February 202233%39%21%6%
April 202216%37%23%22%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryA significant crisisA serious problem but not a crisisA minor problemNot a problem at all
April 202081%10%5%2%
June 202082%7%8%1%
October 202075%18%5%1%
February 202176%16%2%5%
April 202175%17%5%1%
June 202169%19%9%1%
August 202177%15%4%1%
October 202166%26%3%2%
February 202269%23%6%0%
April 202241%39%7%6%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryA significant crisisA serious problem but not a crisisA minor problemNot a problem at all
April 202065%22%6%2%
June 202063%24%7%4%
October 202065%20%7%6%
February 202153%31%5%5%
June 202155%23%14%6%
August 202162%22%8%7%
October 202152%22%12%6%
February 202254%28%8%6%
April 202225%37%17%16%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

 

Community Spread Concern

Respondents were asked, "How concerned are you about the spread of the coronavirus in your community?"

Loading chart...
categoryDemocratOverallRepublican
April 202076%54%36%
June 202074%47%23%
October 202069%40%19%
February 202177%49%28%
April 202161%36%16%
June 202149%27%10%
August 202178%47%23%
October 202162%36%15%
February 202260%39%18%
April 202242%28%13%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryWhiteBlackHispanic
April 202049%64%59%
June 202041%59%55%
October 202033%55%56%
February 202143%65%59%
April 202128%51%48%
June 202117%58%37%
August 202141%68%52%
October 202130%50%46%
February 202229%63%48%
April 202221%39%37%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

 

Personal Spread Concern

Respondents were asked, "How concerned are you about you or someone you know getting infected with the coronavirus?"

Loading chart...
categoryDemocratOverallRepublican
April 202072%54%40%
June 202073%48%26%
October 202069%44%24%
February 202175%50%30%
April 202156%34%16%
June 202147%29%13%
August 202171%45%26%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryWhiteBlackHispanic
April 202051%60%62%
June 202041%58%60%
October 202037%53%57%
February 202142%64%60%
April 202126%50%50%
June 202119%51%41%
August 202139%60%54%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

 

Containing COVID vs. Helping the Economy

Respondents were asked, "What do you think is more important...Trying to help control the spread of the coronavirus, even if it hurts the economy OR Trying to help the economy, even if it hurts efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus?"

Loading chart...
categoryHelp the economyControl the virus
June 202041%59%
October 202044%56%
February 202148%52%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryHelp the economyControl the virus
June 202073%27%
October 202076%24%
February 202179%21%


​(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryHelp the economyControl the virus
June 20207%93%
October 20207%93%
February 202112%88%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

 

Behavior

In each of the surveys, respondents were asked to describe their activity levels during the pandemic, what social distancing practices they are engaging in, and to assess the safety of engaging in a range of activities. Click on the table of contents below to jump to a section:

General Behavior
     by Party
     by Race
Social Distancing
Safety of Different Activities

 

General Behavior

In the February and April 2021 surveys, Respondents were asked, "Thinking about how you and your family are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, which of these best describes you these days?" In April, June, and October 2020 polling, respondents were asked, "As you may know, many Americans have been told to stay home if they can because of the coronavirus pandemic. Which of these best describes you these days?"

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categoryLiving normally, coming and going as usualLeaving my residence, but being careful when I doOnly leaving my residence when I absolutely have toNot leaving home
April 20209%20%63%9%
June 202019%41%37%3%
October 202027%40%32%2%
February 202124%42%31%3%
April 202133%44%21%2%
June 202147%39%12%2%
August 202137%40%22%1%
October 202142%41%15%1%
February 202241%42%16%1%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

General Behavior by Party

Loading chart...
categoryDemocratIndependentRepublican
April 20205%8%11%
June 20205%21%32%
October 202010%24%41%
February 20216%25%40%
April 20218%31%55%
June 202120%56%68%
August 202112%39%59%
October 202116%42%65%
February 202218%38%64%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryLiving normally, coming and going as usualStill leaving my residence, but being careful when I doOnly leaving my residence when I absolutely have toNot leaving home
April 202011%26%58%5%
June 202032%45%22%1%
October 202041%41%18%1%
February 202140%41%18%2%
April 202155%38%6%1%
June 202168%25%5%2%
August 202159%31%10%0%
October 202165%24%10%1%
February 202264%26%9%1%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

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categoryLiving normally, coming and going as usualStill leaving my residence, but being careful when I doOnly leaving my residence when I absolutely have toNot leaving home
April 20205%15%70%11%
June 20205%36%55%3%
October 202010%38%50%2%
February 20216%44%49%2%
April 20218%55%36%1%
June 202120%60%19%1%
August 202112%53%34%1%
October 202116%62%21%1%
February 202218%59%21%2%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryLiving normally, coming and going as usualStill leaving my residence, but being careful when I doOnly leaving my residence when I absolutely have toNot leaving home
April 20208%16%58%17%
June 202021%45%30%5%
October 202024%43%30%2%
February 202125%42%24%8%
April 202131%34%26%8%
June 202156%26%15%3%
August 202139%36%24%2%
October 202142%41%12%5%
February 202238%39%22%1%


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General Behavior by Race

Loading chart...
category-1WhiteBlackHispanic
April 20208%13%7%
June 202022%15%13%
October 202032%19%18%
February 202130%13%13%
April 202142%16%19%
June 202159%19%31%
August 202145%17%27%
October 202152%22%28%
February 202250%24%30%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryLiving normally, coming and going as usualStill leaving my residence, but being careful when I doOnly leaving my residence when I absolutely have toNot leaving home
April 20208%21%63%7%
June 202022%40%35%2%
October 202032%41%27%1%
February 202130%41%27%2%
April 202142%40%17%1%
June 202159%33%7%1%
August 202145%38%16%0%
October 202152%36%11%0%
February 202250%36%13%1%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryLiving normally, coming and going as usualStill leaving my residence, but being careful when I doOnly leaving my residence when I absolutely have toNot leaving home
April 202013%19%60%8%
June 202015%40%40%4%
October 202019%47%33%1%
February 202113%48%37%2%
April 202116%57%25%2%
June 202119%62%17%1%
August 202117%46%37%0%
October 202122%57%21%0%
February 202224%54%20%1%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryLiving normally, coming and going as usualStill leaving my residence, but being careful when I doOnly leaving my residence when I absolutely have toNot leaving home
April 20207%17%63%13%
June 202013%43%42%2%
October 202018%32%46%4%
February 202113%44%38%6%
April 202119%48%29%4%
June 202131%43%21%5%
August 202127%46%25%3%
October 202128%47%22%3%
February 202230%48%20%2%


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Social Distancing

Respondents were asked, "Which of the following measures, if any, are you taking in response to the coronavirus/COVID-19?" The specific activities were described thusly: "Staying away from large groups," and "Wearing a mask when in close contact with people outside your household."

Loading chart...
categoryMask WearingLarge Group Avoidance
June 202081%88%
October 202087%83%
February 202188%82%
April 202180%74%
June 202158%63%
August 202163%74%
October 202160%64%
February 202264%71%
April 202251%62%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryMask WearingLarge Group Avoidance
June 202069%80%
October 202078%73%
February 202181%70%
April 202167%56%
June 202133%42%
August 202140%58%
October 202133%46%
February 202239%52%
April 202228%41%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryMask WearingLarge Group Avoidance
June 202096%97%
October 202098%95%
February 202198%97%
April 202196%95%
June 202186%89%
August 202191%95%
October 202190%87%
February 202289%91%
April 202278%85%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

 

Safety of Different Activities

Respondents were asked, "Regardless of the current restrictions in your local area, do you think it would be safe or unsafe for you to..." and then provided a list of activities, including: Go to work; Fly on an airplane; Eat at a restaurant; Attend a sporting event or concert at an outdoor stadium; Attend a sporting event or concert in an indoor arena; Go to a movie theater; Attend church; Send your child to school; Go grocery shopping; Go to a bar or club; Go to a gym or health club; Stay in a hotel; Go to a shopping mall; and Get a haircut.

Share of Texas Voters who Say Each of the Following Activities is Safe
(University of Texas/Texas Tribune Polling)
  April 2021 February 2021 October 2020 June 2020
Go grocery shopping 86% 78% 80% 72%
Get a haircut 77% 66% 66% 59%
Go to work 74% 65% 64% 55%
Stay in a hotel 74% 62% 62% 50%
Eat at a restaurant 63% 55% 56% 49%
Send your child to school 63% 55% 45% 35%
Go to a shopping mall 62% 48% 49% 36%
Attend church 59% 48% 50% 41%
Fly on an airplane 51% 40% 39% 27%
Attend a sporting event or concert at an outdoor stadium 51% 40% 41% 30%
Go to a movie theater 49% 38% 37% 27%
Go to a gym or health club 47% 37% 35% 29%
Attend a sporting event or concert in an indoor arena 39% 29% 29% 21%
Go to a bar or club 38% 30% 28% 23%

 

Share of Texas Republican Voters who Say Each of the Following Activities is Safe
(University of Texas/Texas Tribune Polling)
Among Republicans April 2021 February 2021 October 2020 June 2020
Go grocery shopping 93% 88% 93% 84%
Get a haircut 90% 83% 84% 81%
Go to work 88% 84% 83% 77%
Attend Church 87% 75% 77% 70%
Eat at a restaurant 86% 77% 79% 75%
Stay in a hotel 86% 76% 77% 58%
Send your child to school 85% 77% 73% 58%
Go to a shopping mall 82% 70% 71% 55%
Attend a sporting event or concert at an outdoor stadium 76% 60% 62% 48%
Fly on an airplane 73% 55% 57% 43%
Go to a movie theater 72% 60% 56% 43%
Go to a gym or health club 72% 59% 56% 48%
Attend a sporting event or concert in an indoor arena 65% 48% 49% 35%
Go to a bar or club 63% 51% 46% 38%

 

Share of Texas Democratic Voters who Say Each of the Following Activities is Safe
(University of Texas/Texas Tribune Polling)
Among Democrats April 2021 February 2021 October 2020 June 2020
Go grocery shopping 76% 66% 68% 58%
Get a haircut 65% 49% 47% 34%
Stay in a hotel 64% 45% 46% 35%
Go to work 59% 45% 44% 32%
Send your child to school 43% 31% 14% 9%
Go to a shopping mall 41% 21% 24% 15%
Eat at a restaurant 40% 29% 30% 21%
Attend church 30% 17% 20% 10%
Fly on an airplane 29% 21% 18% 9%
Attend a sporting event or concert at an outdoor stadium 25% 17% 17% 10%
Go to a movie theater 22% 14% 17% 10%
Go to a gym or health club 21% 12% 12% 9%
Attend a sporting event or concert in an indoor arena 11% 7% 8% 5%
Go to a bar or club 11% 7% 8% 6%

 

Share of White Texas Voters who Say Each of the Following Activities is Safe
(University of Texas/Texas Tribune Polling)
Among White Voters April 2021 February 2021 October 2020 June 2020
Go grocery shopping 91% 82% 85% 75%
Get a haircut 86% 73% 74% 65%
Stay in a hotel 82% 68% 69% 56%
Go to work 81% 71% 71% 62%
Send your child to school 75% 64% 55% 42%
Eat at a restaurant 73% 62% 64% 54%
Go to a shopping mall 68% 53% 55% 40%
Attend church 67% 53% 57% 48%
Attend a sporting event or concert at an outdoor stadium 62% 45% 49% 34%
Fly on an airplane 59% 44% 45% 30%
Go to a movie theater 57% 41% 41% 34%
Go to a gym or health club 55% 42% 41% 34%
Attend a sporting event or concert in an indoor arena 48% 32% 34% 26%
Go to a bar or club 46% 35% 32% 25%

 

Share of Black Texas Voters who Say Each of the Following Activities is Safe
(University of Texas/Texas Tribune Polling)
Among Black Voters April 2021 February 2021 October 2020 June 2020
Go grocery shopping 75% 70% 72% 70%
Get a haircut 63% 48% 48% 41%
Go to work 62% 52% 51% 42%
Stay in a hotel 59% 49% 45% 43%
Go to a shopping mall 56% 38% 39% 34%
Attend church 43% 35% 33% 27%
Send your child to school 40% 39% 27% 23%
Eat at a restaurant 39% 33% 36% 36%
Go to a gym or health club 36% 26% 25% 25%
Fly on an airplane 35% 33% 33% 23%
Attend a sporting event or concert at an outdoor stadium 35% 33% 29% 18%
Go to a movie theater 29% 29% 30% 27%
Attend a sporting event or concert in an indoor arena 23% 19% 21% 14%
Go to a bar or club 18% 21% 25% 20%

 

Share of Hispanic Texas Voters who Say Each of the Following Activities is Safe
(University of Texas/Texas Tribune Polling)
Among Hispanic Voters April 2021 February 2021 October 2020 June 2020
Go grocery shopping 73% 73% 74% 61%
Get a haircut 62% 58% 56% 54%
Go to work 61% 57% 53% 47%
Stay in a hotel 60% 52% 52% 40%
Eat at a restaurant 53% 49% 48% 41%
Go to a shopping mall 50% 40% 37% 30%
Attend church 47% 41% 40% 32%
Send your child to school 43% 45% 28% 24%
Fly on an airplane 40% 33% 24% 22%
Go to a movie theater 39% 33% 30% 19%
Attend a sporting event or concert at an outdoor stadium 36% 31% 29% 24%
Go to a gym or health club 31% 28% 23% 20%
Go to a bar or club 30% 18% 16% 18%
Attend a sporting event or concert in an indoor arena 27% 24% 20% 12%

 

Evaluations

Respondents were asked, "Do you approve or disapprove of how each of the following is handling the coronavirus/COVID-19?"

Loading chart...
categoryFederal GovernmentTexas State GovernmentYour Local Government
April 202049%57%64%
June 202040%47%53%
October 202039%45%51%
February 202045%48%51%
April 202147%45%53%
June 202146%45%50%
August 202143%39%47%
October 202137%46%51%
February 202239%44%49%
April 202239%47%51%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryFederal GovernmentTexas State GovernmentYour Local Government
April 202079%82%70%
June 202067%75%60%
October 202065%71%59%
February 202135%68%55%
April 202127%72%54%
June 202128%68%52%
August 202117%66%49%
October 202113%75%57%
February 202215%69%55%
April 202216%72%56%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryFederal GovernmentTexas State GovernmentYour Local Government
April 202020%35%64%
June 202015%17%50%
October 202015%19%46%
February 202163%30%52%
April 202176%17%53%
June 202176%20%54%
August 202176%11%51%
October 202171%16%51%
February 202269%20%48%
April 202273%23%52%


(Link to downloadable, shareable, embeddable version of the graphic displayed above.) (Click here to jump back to the table of contents.)

Loading chart...
categoryFederal GovernmentTexas State GovernmentYour Local Government
April 202026%30%34%
June 202027%36%39%
October 202019%30%33%
February 202126%32%33%
April 202132%40%38%
June 202122%33%34%
August 202131%26%28%
October 202126%29%31%
February 202221%36%38%
April 202222%32%28%


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Keywords: coronavirus