By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The majority of Wyomingites approve of the way Gov. Mark Gordon is handling the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey released by the University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center (WYSAC) on Thursday.
The survey was conducted Monday and is the third of multiple surveys the center is conducting to measure public response to a variety of topics related to the pandemic. A total of 496 residents participated in the survey on Monday, representing all 23 counties.
Three-quarters of the people surveyed said they somewhat or strongly approved of the way Gordon is handling the crisis. The governor’s net approval rating — the percentage disapproving of his efforts subtracted from the percentage approving them — is at a positive 54 percentage points.
Approval was also high for local government and health officials, with 77% of the responses saying they somewhat or strongly approved of the way the counties are handling the pandemic. Their net approval rating is at a positive 59 percentage points.
The approval of the way President Donald Trump is handling the crisis has decreased over the three surveys, with 59% saying they somewhat or strongly approved of how he’s handling the situation. His net approval rating decreased by 5.6 points and now totals a posititive 20.5 percentage points.
The survey noted that Wyomingites’ support for certain major policies has decreased over the last few weeks.
These include: 76% support the close of K-12 schools, down eight percentage points; 67% support the closure of daycare centers, a decrease of 11 percentage points; 64% support the closure of restaurants and bars, a 12 point decrease; 74% support limiting public gatherings, an eight point decrease; and 44% support a “shelter-in-place” order, a decrease of four points.
On Wednesday, a group of seven Republican legislators sent a disapproving letter to Gordon questioning the constitutionality of his orders, among a number of other concerns.
“How does any statutory reference supersede the US and Wyoming constitution? Please provide documentation,” the letter asked.
On Thursday morning, two other Republican lawmakers lauded the governor’s actions stating that “…the State of Wyoming will be farther ahead than any state in the nation in regards to relaxing [public health] orders.”