Sixty-five percent of Texas voters say coronavirus 'out of control': Poll

Sixty-five percent of Texas voters say coronavirus 'out of control': Poll
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Nearly two-thirds of Texas voters say the spread of the coronavirus in their state is “out of control,” according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. 

Sixty-five percent of respondents said the virus is running wild in the Lonestar State, which has emerged as a new hot spot in recent weeks. Slightly less than a third, 31 percent, said the coronavirus is largely under control in the state. 

Overall, nearly three-quarters of respondents, 74 percent, said the spread of the novel coronavirus in Texas is a “serious problem,” according to the Quinnipiac poll. 

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New coronavirus cases and virus-related deaths have surged in Texas in recent weeks, with the state reporting this week that more than 1,000 people had died from the virus in a 10-day period. 

Approval of Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) handling of the coronavirus crisis in his state has also taken a nosedive. Forty-seven percent said they approve of his response to the outbreak, down from 56 percent in a similar Quinnipiac poll conducted in early June. Meanwhile, disapproval of the governor’s response shot upward to 48 percent, a 12-point increase over last month.

Approval of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE’s handling of the pandemic is also underwater, with 45 percent of Texas voters approving of how he’s responded to the coronavirus outbreak and 52 percent disapproving. 

Still, most Texas voters, 53 percent, don’t want to see the governor issue a new stay-at-home order, according to the poll. Forty-four percent said they believe another stay-at-home order is warranted. 

Nevertheless, more than two-thirds of those surveyed, 68 percent, said local officials should be able to issue stay-at-home orders if they so choose, while only 29 percent said they should not be able to do so. 

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Abbott has pushed back against such efforts by local officials. After a judge in Hidalgo County issued an emergency order this week mandating that people shelter in their residences, Abbott said the order was unenforceable, prompting a debate over the role state and local authorities should play in efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

Still, Abbott has relented on other precautionary measures. He issued a statewide mandate earlier this month requiring Texans living in counties with more than 20 coronavirus cases to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces after initially resisting such a measure.

That move has wide support among Texas voters, according to the Quinnipiac poll. Eighty percent of those surveyed said they approve of the mask mandate, while only 19 percent disapprove. 

Abbott also ordered bars to close once again last month as coronavirus cases in Texas worsened, marking a slight rollback in the state’s phased reopening. More than three-quarters of voters, 76 percent, believe that shuttering bars is an effective way to slow the spread of the virus, the poll found. 

The Quinnipiac University poll’s findings are based on responses from 880 self-identified registered voters in Texas gathered from July 16 to July 20. It has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.