Poll: 7 in 10 voters more concerned about social distancing rollbacks over economic damage

Seven in 10 registered voters say they are more concerned with rolling back social distancing measures prematurely fearing further spread of the coronavirus, more than the economic damage caused by the mitigation measures, according to a new Hill/HarrisX poll. 

The level of concern has risen 11 percentage points since last month, when 59 percent of voters said they were more concerned that social distancing was rolled back too soon than not being rolled back soon enough.

Every sub-group in the April 26-27 survey saw increases among those who were previously more concerned with rolling back social distancing too soon.

Concern about social distancing rollbacks rose by party as well. 

The number of Democrats who said they were more concerned with rolling back social distancing too soon rose 17 percentage points from 62 percent to 79 percent. 

The number of Republican voters who said the same rose 7 percentage points from 54 percent to 61 percent in the last month.

The poll found a 7 percentage point jump among independents who said they were concerned about rolling back social distancing too soon.

As states in the south like Florida and Georgia have begun to reopen their economies, the level of concern about premature rollbacks among Southern voters rose 13 percentage points from 58 percent to 71 percent since March.

"Despite hardships and the fear of more economic damage, the public remains most worried about opening up the economy too soon and causing the further spread of the virus," Dritan Nesho, CEO and chief researcher at HarrisX, told Hill.TV.

"This number holds with Republican voters as well, so protests to open things up among the GOP base represent a sizeable but also disproportionately vocal minority," he added.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 930 registered voters between April 26 and 27. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points. 

Gabriela Schulte