Story at a glance

  • Among Democrats, 89 percent said they favor mask mandates, compared to 59 percent of Republicans who agreed.
  • The survey found about two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The poll comes as a growing number of states have issued statewide mask mandates.

A new poll shows three-quarters of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, support mandates requiring face coverings in public to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll of 1,057 adults in the U.S. found 75 percent are in favor of requiring Americans to wear face masks in public when they are around other people, and 13 percent either strongly or somewhat opposed. 


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Among Democrats, 89 percent said they favor mask mandates, as do 59 percent of Republicans. 

Meanwhile, 95 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans said they wear face coverings when they leave home. Overall, 86 percent of Americans say they are wearing masks, compared to 73 percent who said they were doing so in May. 


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The Associated Press (AP) notes the poll was conducted before President Trump, who has opposed a nationwide mask mandate and mostly refused to wear a mask in public, tweeted a picture this week of him wearing a mask with the caption “many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance.”

The survey also found that about two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The poll comes as a growing number of states have issued statewide mask mandates. As of Monday, at least 28 states require masks. Several major retailers and other businesses have also recently followed suit. 

A Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday found that 72 percent of voters supported statewide mask mandates that would fine or even jail individuals who refused to wear face coverings in public. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of masks or cloth facial coverings when it is not possible to physically distance in public. Studies have shown the use of face coverings can slow the spread of COVID-19 as it helps prevent asymptomatic coronavirus carriers from spreading it to others.

The AP-NORC poll was conducted July 16-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.


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Published on Jul 23, 2020