A new poll of Minnesotans finds that a large majority approves of Gov. Tim Walz's handling of the coronavirus crisis, and also oppose a quick reopening of the state's economy.
The SurveyUSA online poll of 500 Minnesotans was commissioned by KSTP and has a margin of error of 5.1 percent, but still found broad support for the governor's efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Respondents were asked if they "approve or disapprove of the way Gov. Tim Walz is handling the coronavirus," with 37 percent saying they "strongly approve" and 45 percent saying they "somewhat approve" for a total of 82 percent.
Nine percent say they "somewhat disapprove" and five percent said they "strongly disapprove." It even found support among Republicans, with 22 percent of GOP-supporting respondents saying they "strongly approve" and 48 percent saying they "somewhat approve."
This is in contrast to the same question asked of President Donald Trump's handling of the pandemic, for which 34 percent approved (10 percent "strongly," 24 percent "somewhat," nd 59 percent disapprove (17 percent "somewhat," 42 percent "strongly.")
The Minnesota Legislature also has broad approval for its handling of the pandemic, with 68 percent approving and 16 percent disapproving.
Respondents back Stay at Home measures
Despite vocal demonstrations in the form of protests by modest crowds outside the governor's mansion and State Capitol, the majority of Minnesotans polled don't want to see the economy reopen too quickly.
Seventy-six percent agreed with his decision to extend the Stay at Home order to May 18, while 82 percent agree with the order to allow retail businesses to provide curbside pick-up or delivery only.
Eighty percent agreed with the decision to limit restaurants and bars to takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery for now, while 66 percent agreed with the suspension of elective medical procedures – albeit that is set to be lifted by Gov. Walz on Tuesday.
What's more, only 58 percent of those who responded said they have received a stimulus payment from the federal government, with 39 percent saying they have not.
The findings are similar to a national poll of Americans by the Washington Post and University of Maryland, which found 82 percent oppose reopening movie theaters, 78 percent gyms, 74 percent dine-in restaurants, and 69 percent hair salons, suggesting that even when restrictions are lifted, we are a long way from "business as usual."