Poll: Majority in NY, NJ and Connecticut aren't ready to reopen economies

Poll: Majority in NY, NJ and Connecticut aren't ready to reopen economies
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More than two thirds of voters in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut say that their states should prioritize slowing the spread of the coronavirus, even if it means damaging their economies, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Seventy-one percent of those surveyed across the three states said that officials should focus on keeping people home and maintaining social distancing measures to combat the pandemic. Only about a quarter — 26 percent — said that their states should put people back to work to help the economy recover, even if it means hastening the spread of the virus.

New Jersey, Connecticut and New York are among the states hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. New York, in particular, emerged as the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak early on and has reported more cases than any other state, more than 300,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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Other states have moved in recent days to begin reopening their economies after spending weeks under lockdown orders, prompting a national debate over whether officials are moving too quickly or too slowly to lift restrictions. 

But in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, most voters say that their states should wait months, not weeks, to begin reopening, the Quinnipiac poll found. 

In New York, 58 percent of voters surveyed said they believe it will take a few months or longer before it will be safe enough for the state to reopen. Fifty-five percent in New Jersey and 59 percent in Connecticut said the same, according to the poll. 

Still, voters in each of the three states are aware of the economic consequences the coronavirus pandemic has brought with it. 

Seventy-two percent of New York voters described their state’s economy as either “not so good” or “poor,” compared to 25 percent who said it was either “good” or “excellent.” In New Jersey, 66 percent gave their economies a “not so good” or “poor” assessment. And in Connecticut, 74 percent described their economies as “not so good” or “poor.”

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There’s also high disapproval across the three states of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill FDA head pledges 'we will not cut corners' on coronavirus vaccine Let our values drive COVID-19 liability protection MORE’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Sixty-one percent of voters in all three states said they disapprove of his efforts, while 35 percent of New York voters, 37 percent of New Jersey voters and 36 percent of Connecticut voters said they approve.

Meanwhile, the governors of the three states won high approval ratings for their efforts to combat the pandemic. New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoGovernors air frustrations with Trump on unemployment plans State aid emerges as major hurdle to reviving COVID-19 talks Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for coronavirus over two weeks last month MORE (D) notched 81 percent approval from voters in his state, while New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) each scored 78 percent support from voters in their states.

The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 915 self-identified registered voters in New York, 941 in New Jersey and 945 in Connecticut from April 30-May 4. The margin of error for all states is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.