Political Affiliation Seen as Divide on COVID-19 in Battleground States, including Arizona


CNBC and Change Research today announced the results of their latest joint “States of Play” poll, conducted May 15th – May 17th.

The poll reveals a marked divide in beliefs surrounding how the government has and should handle the coronavirus pandemic in six major battleground states (Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), largely based on political affiliation. For example, 97% of Democrats are seriously concerned about coronavirus, while 38% of Republicans say the same.

CNBC and Change Research polled over 3,800 anticipated general election voters from the above-mentioned battleground states, as well as over 1,400 anticipated general election voters nationally, to determine economic sentiment amongst voters.

Key findings from the CNBC/Change Research “States of Play” poll conducted May 15-17, 2020 include:

  • When voters were asked if they knew anyone, including themselves, who has been diagnosed with coronavirus, Democrats were almost twice as likely to answer yes (66% of Democrats vs. 35% of Republicans.) This seems to be largely correlated to the demographic breakdown of where those identifying as Republicans live as opposed to where those identifying as Democrats live.
  • When asked if they have concerns about returning to work before they felt safe, over half (54%) of Democrats express ‘very serious’ concerns, while 7% of Republicans note the same. Two-thirds (67%) of Democrats say the impact of Coronavirus is “getting worse”, while 71% of Republicans say the impacts are “getting better.”
  • When asked if a second wave is a concern, 68% of Democrats say they are preparing for a second wave, compared to 14% of Republicans. 89% of Democrats have ‘very serious’ concerns about a second wave, compared to 17% of Republicans. 71% of Democrats say there will “definitely” be a second wave, compared to 10% of Republicans.
  • Concerns about costs are rising: 40% of voters in battleground states think the CARES Act was too costly and 40% believe the bill passed in the House of Representatives (the HEROES Act) last week is too costly.

Additionally, President Trump is set to visit the state of Michigan this Thursday, his third battleground state visit since CNBC and Change Research began taking this poll in March 2020. According to “States of Play” results, Michigan has seen the greatest impacts from COVID-19 of all the battleground states:

    • 62% of Michigan voters personally know someone who has contracted coronavirus.
    • 50% of Michigan voters have lost wages or had their salary cut.
    • 41% of Michigan voters have lost a job or been furloughed.
    • 50% of Michigan voters believe this economic slump will be worse than the Great Recession of 2008—an 11-point increase in six weeks.

CNBC Washington D.C. Correspondents Eamon Javers and Kayla Tausche will reveal the results of the CNBC/Change Research “States of Play Poll” today, Wednesday, May 20th throughout CNBC’s Business Day programming, and CNBC’s Ylan Mui will additionally cover tomorrow, Thursday, May 21st. For more information on the survey including the full results and methodology and in-depth articles, go to: https://www.changeresearch.com/post/states-of-play-battleground-wave-5.

Methodology: Between May 15-17, 2020, Change Research surveyed 1,424 likely general election voters nationally and 3,825 likely general election voters in the battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The margin of error as traditionally calculated among the national sample is ±2.6% and among the battleground sample is ±1.65%. Change Research reaches voters via targeted online ads that point people to an online survey instrument. Its Dynamic Online Sampling establishes and continuously rebalances advertising targets across region, age, gender, race, and partisanship to dynamically deliver large samples that accurately reflect the demographics of a population. In the national survey and the survey of battleground states, post-stratification was done on gender, age, region, education, race, and 2016 presidential vote.

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