By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming residents surveyed for a University of Wyoming poll are about evenly divided over whether they think coronavirus will continue to be a problem for the state.
The survey of 503 residents conducted by the university’s Survey and Analysis Center showed that 27.6% believe coronavirus is not likely to be a major problem, 26.2% believe “the worst is behind us” and 29.4% believe “the worst is yet to come.”
However, the number of people who believe coronavirus will not be a major problem or who believe the worst of the pandemic is past has gone up since August.
The number of those surveyed in August who believed coronavirus would not be a major problem was set at 20.7%, almost 7 percentage points below September’s levels. And the number who believed the worst of the pandemic was over in August was 19.9%, also almost 7 percentage points below what was seen in September.
Meanwhile, the percentage of those who believe “the worst is yet to come” dropped by 13 percentage points in September from August, when the percentage stood at 42.6%.
The survey, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4%, is the eighth conducted by the center since the pandemic began in March. The latest survey was conducted on Sept. 8 and involved people selected randomly from the center’s “WyoSpeaks” panel.
The panel is made up of Wyoming residents who have expressed a willingness to take part in surveys.
The survey also showed that the majority of those questioned continue to support the way Gov. Mark Gordon is handling the coronavirus.
According to the survey, 20.4% of those questioned strongly support the way Gordon has handled the pandemic, an increase of 1.3 percentage points from August, and 46.5% somewhat approve of his performance, a decline of 3.4 percentage points from August.
The percentage of people somewhat disapproving or strongly disapproving of Gordon’s actions was set at 29.4%, an increase of less than 1 percentage point from August.
Approval ratings for handling of the coronavirus by local governments and health officials stayed about the same from August to September, with 63.4% either strongly or somewhat approving of the actions of local government. In August, the number was set at 65.7%.
Approval for President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic was almost as high as the support for Gordon’s, with 56.5% strongly or somewhat approving of his actions, an increase of about 4 percentage points from August.
The approval ratings for Congress continued to fall, dropping by about 3.1 percentage points from August to show 14.6% strongly or somewhat approving of congressional actions.
Rankings for Congress have steadily dropped since the first survey was taken in March.