Charlotte, N.C. – A new survey shows that the majority of Americans do not want to lift virus restrictions. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey shows that 61% of Americans say the restrictions are about right. Of those surveyed, 12% say the restrictions go too far and 16% don’t believe they go far enough.
Of those surveyed around 80% say that they support the measures that were put in place overall. But as you look into the details of the survey, you can certainly see the divide.
Of Democrats surveyed, 62% said the measures were about right, 33% not far enough and 5 % said too far. The Republicans surveyed shared a different view. Of Republicans, 59% said the measures were about right, 19% said not far enough and 22% said too far.
The AP also reports that the concern about contracting coronavirus is much higher among Democrats than Republicans. Over 80% of Democrats are worried about contracting the virus, but just over 60% of Republicans are. Those Republicans who strongly supported the stay-home measures at 51% in late march now only support at 36%.
On almost all measures questioned, Republican support has fallen. But the majority of Americans still overall do not favor reopening the economy. Of those questioned, 59% of Republicans said that there would be the ability to open in the coming weeks while 71% of Democrats said it’s unlikely. Why the difference?
It truly does come down to political beliefs. Republicans overwhelmingly do not trust the main stream media and the information being presented. The new information about antibody testing and the virus being present longer than initial thoughts helps support their cause. But there’s even more to it than just this.
The ones that have suffered the most due to the shut down is small business. We know that Congress has really focused on small businesses as part of their relief efforts. They even passed additional legislation this week to help them. It appears that small business owners could be driving the effort to reopen sooner.
In a 2018 survey, small businesses owners were mostly Republican voters. In that survey, 38% of small business owners identified as Republican, 28% as Democrats and 15% independent. An additional data point showed that 53% of the entire group said that they regularly vote Republican. A total that equals the Republican and Independent voters combined.
So what does all of this data tells us? If you haven’t already put it together, small business owners are ready to get back to work. Small business accounts for 99.9% of all companies in the United States. They also account for around 59 million jobs and almost half the workforce in our country.
These small business owners are seeing their livelihood crash right before their eyes. They see their blood, sweat and tears going away because of government mandated closures. As this new data comes out regarding the coronavirus, they believe they should be allowed to open.
It may be easy for many people who work outside of the small business sector to make calls for measures to continue. Many jobs allow folks to work from home and many larger organizations have assisted in paying employees through the closures. But it just doesn’t work that way for small business.
They cannot pay themselves when not at work. Many of them live paycheck to paycheck and job to job. Many of these are service based businesses and they do not have the option to work from home. It’s put them in a bad situation.
Others have argued that they can utilize unemployment, but that’s not true for some small businesses. Depending on the business structure, they may not pay into the unemployment system. This would keep them from being able to participate leaving them without many choices for money.
Small business in America needs to get back to work. We need common sense measures that allow them to open as quickly as possible. I believe most will accept social distancing measures and additional cleaning measures. In the end, they just want to get back to work and maintain their livelihood.