In this April 20, 2020, file photo protesters demonstrate at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., demanding that Gov. Tom Wolf reopen Pennsylvania's economy even as new social-distancing mandates took effect at stores and other commercial buildings. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Protesters at the capitol building in Harrisburg, Pa. on April 20. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Poll shows overwhelming disapproval of protesters and strong support for social distancing to continue

Nearly two-thirds of Wisconsinites said they oppose protesters who want to end restrictions that have slowed the spread of coronavirus. That same survey, done by Public Policy Polling, shows Gov. Tony Evers getting a net approval rating that is nearly 20 points higher than President Trump when it comes to handling the pandemic crisis.

The survey, released Thursday, showed 64 percent opposition to the protests and only 24 percent support. When broken down by political leanings, self-described independents opposed the protests by a  margin of 71 percent to 10. 

Respondents were overwhelmingly in favor of current restrictions on gatherings and business operations, with 53 percent saying the policies are right and 21 percent believing even more aggressive measures are needed. Only 23 percent said social distancing rules should be relaxed.

Gov. Evers gets a 53-37 approval-disapproval score for his actions during the outbreak, a net positive of 16 points. President Trump’s job managing the crisis gets only 45 percent approval, 48 percent disapproval, a net negative of three points.

PPP also asked 1,415 Wisconsin residents their preference in a head-to-head matchup of Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The former vice president led Trump, 50-45 percent. The survey has a margin of error of 2.6 percent.

Wisconsin was one of four states surveyed by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Protect Our Care, a group working to defend the Affordable Care Act. 

Combining the Wisconsin results with answers in Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, voters in those states say –by a 57-36 margin– they trust their governors more to protect their state from coronavirus than Trump. And on the question of who to trust more to determine the right time and manner to reopen their states, the margin grows wider, 61-33.

“The polling makes clear that voters have lost trust in Trump’s ability to lead them through this crisis,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Trump continues to downplay the need for testing and ignore the advice of experts. Americans overwhelmingly support continuing social distancing, they overwhelmingly oppose the protests that the president loves to watch on television and they don’t trust his efforts to rush the reopening of the economy.” 

UpNorthNews will update this story with more topics and responses.