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Majority of Ohioans approve of how Gov. Mike DeWine is handling COVID-19, new poll shows

DeWine presser
Posted at 11:28 AM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 18:35:21-04

CLEVELAND — Results from a new poll conducted by Baldwin Wallace University shows a supermajority of respondents approve of how their governors are handling the COVID-19 crisis.

Coronavirus

"Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine’s apolitical, no-nonsense response to the crisis has set the national agenda in terms of public officials should respond,” said Dr. Lauren Copeland, associate director of the BW CRI. “Unlike President Trump, who has tried to downplay the severity of the crisis, DeWine has escalated the state’s response based on medical experts’ advice.”

In the first battleground state polling since the Coronavirus pandemic began, President Trump remains in a statistical tie against the still to be named Democratic nominee in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to the results of a new Baldwin Wallace University Great Lakes Poll.

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“Although President Trump is seeing some improvement in his favorability ratings in the Great Lakes, his performance pales in comparison to governors in these states,” said Dr. Robert Alexander, political science professor at Ohio Northern.

The president is leading in Ohio 44.6 to 43.1%, a slimmer margin of 44.5 to 44.1% in Pennsylvania and trailing in Wisconsin 44.5 to 41.8% and Michigan 47.4 to 38.2%. The Great Lakes Poll was conducted between 3/17/20 and 3/25/20 with a margin of error between +/-3.3% and 3.9%.

“Interestingly, we are seeing President Trump’s job approval ratings improve at the same time that people are worried about the economy,” said Dr. Copeland. “This may reflect a ‘rally around the flag’ effect that is common during national crises.”

“Although President Trump is seeing some improvement in his favorability ratings in the Great Lakes, his performance pales in comparison to governors in these states,” said Dr. Robert Alexander, political science professor at Ohio Northern.

A supermajority of voters say the coronavirus is a real threat, but Republicans are more likely to say that the pandemic has been blown out of proportion.

“As the pandemic unfolded, there was a tendency for conservative media outlets to call the virus a hoax and that the virus spread was over-exaggerated,” said Dr. Terri Towner, political science professor at Oakland University. “It’s clear that this media coverage has left a lasting impression on some voters.”

The survey found overwhelming support among voters for closing schools, bars, restaurants and other restrictions that have been imposed during the pandemic.

“Although Democrats and Republicans haven’t agreed on much in recent years, there is startling agreement when it comes to the restrictions put in place by their respective governors. However, differences emerge between partisans when it comes to their personal concern and behaviors in response to the coronavirus," said Dr. Robert Alexander, political science professor at Ohio Northern.

Suspension of sports

One sign of the seriousness of the crisis is the willingness of more than 80% of respondents to support suspending professional sports seasons while about 80% of people in each state also say they’ve changed up their routines. About 75% say they are avoiding contact. 80-85% say they are washing their hands more. About 75% say they’re spending more time at home.

Read the full report here.

RELATED: More Ohioans are 'almost certain' to vote against Trump than for him in 2020, new poll shows

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