Washington Post Poll: ‘Americans Widely Oppose Reopening Most Businesses, Despite Easing of Restrictions in Some States’

Dan Balz and Emily Guskin, reporting for The Washington Post:

The Post-U. Md. poll asked about the following types of businesses: gun stores, dine-in restaurants, nail salons, barbershops and hair salons, retail establishments such as clothing stores, along with gyms, golf courses and movie theaters.

The most significant opposition is to reopening movie theaters, with 82 percent of Americans saying they should not be allowed to open up in their state. There is also broad opposition to reopening gyms (78 percent opposed), dine-in restaurants and nail salons (both with 74 percent opposed).

Gun stores are next, with 70 percent saying they should not be reopened, followed by barbershops and hair salons (69 percent opposed) and retail shops such as clothing stores (66 percent opposed) and golf courses (59 percent opposed).

These are far larger majorities than we typically see in polls regarding ostensibly controversial issues here in the U.S. These mandates to keep nonessential businesses closed are in fact broadly popular. The nation is not divided on this.

It’s never wise to gauge public opinion solely by looking at protests, but in this particular case it could not possibly be more misleading. By definition, only the people who think these restrictions are nonsense/unnecessary/too broad/whatever are even willing to congregate in large groups. You can’t hold a public rally in support of stay-at-home orders.

Angry incoherent mobs make for good TV, alas. A massive majority of Americans — patiently staying at home, listening to the advice of experts — does not.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020