Majority want their states to stay open amid coronavirus surge: poll

Majority want their states to stay open amid coronavirus surge: poll
© Getty Images

A majority of Americans say they want their states to stay open amid the recent surge in coronavirus cases as opposed to locking down, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill. 

Fifty-four percent of respondents said they wanted their states to "try to manage while staying open." Forty-six percent said they believed their states should return to lockdown. 

The findings come as cases across the country surge ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Public health officials are warning that holiday gatherings will likely lead to an even bigger increase in cases, and are urging Americans to stay home. 


More than 12 million Americans have been infected with the virus to date and more than a quarter million have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

A number of states and localities have started taking action in an effort to reduce the spread. California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom70 percent of Californians over 12 have received one shot of coronavirus vaccine California debates extending eviction moratorium to pay off all past-due rent from pandemic 'Aggressive individual' arrested after interaction with Newsom MORE (D) announced a one-month statewide curfew last week, while Los Angeles County took the step of suspending outdoor dining for the near future. 

A number of Midwestern states, including Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota and Michigan, have mask mandates. Meanwhile, President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBaltimore police chief calls for more 'boots on the ground' to handle crime wave Biden to deliver remarks at Sen. John Warner's funeral Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump MORE is pushing for a national mask mandate, calling it a "patriotic duty." 

"The voters are all for mask mandates but do not want to return to full lockdowns that could overly harm the economy," said Harvard CAPS-Harris polling director Mark PennMark PennPoll: Voters expect lawmakers to approve infrastructure package this summer Majority of voters say Biden should implement stricter immigration policies: poll Poll: Concern about inflation rises as economy recovers from pandemic MORE. "It’s a cautious and fearful public but governors should not see unlimited measures as having public support and should look to put careful logic and reasoning behind what they do to protect the public."

Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they supported a nationwide mask mandate, according to the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll. Another 23 percent said they opposed a mandate. 

The Harvard CAPS-Harris poll of 2,205 registered voters was conducted Nov. 17-19. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.