Poll: Americans split on returning to work following pandemic shutdown

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — A new NEXSTAR Media/Emerson College poll is showing how Americans in three politically-different states feel about their lives during the pandemic.

While more states open up, Americans aren’t exactly ready to race back to normal.

As California, Texas, and Ohio start to re-open, poll numbers in those three states shows a split among workers.

“About half of them say I’m going to go back under any circumstances, the other half is saying well I’m only going to go back if everyone is wearing a facemask…or I’m not going back, because I’m scared of getting the virus and bringing it home,” said Spencer Kimball, director of Emerson College Polling.

Kimball also sees corresponding unemployment numbers.

“About a third of all households now report somebody has lost a job because of this pandemic,” he said.

Kimball said differences were most stark on questions like whether or not someone knows another person infected.

“So, like, in California, it’s a huge state, only about 16, 17 percent of people actually know somebody who has the virus,” Kimball said. “We get to Ohio, that number gets up to 30 percent.”

The poll also gives a sobering look at consumer confidence.

“Even worse off is going to be is how the consumer comes back,” Kimball said.

For example, numbers in Ohio show just 51 percent of people are comfortable going to a restaurant,  while Texas and California have even lower percentages.

“We’re going to have trouble getting people back into their normal routines,” Kimball said.

And he says recovery will vary by industry.

“Some are going to bounce back a little faster, but others are going to take a while for the public to grow confidence,” Kimball said.

The numbers also show people are more satisfied with their states’ response to the pandemic than they are with the federal government.

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