Poll: Voters Favor Face Masks Over Political Rallies

People wear face masks in a mall in Sacramento, California. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

(CN) — In the age of Covid-19, cloth face masks are polling higher than political rallies for many Americans according to a new Fox News Poll.

As the November general election approaches, and President Donald Trump prepares to hold a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, 59% of people polled believe it is a bad idea for presidential candidates to hold large political events and rallies.

From the 1,300 registered voters polled between June 13 and 16, a total of 80% said they favor wearing masks to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 disease. 

The Fox News poll asked respondents to answer whether they had a favorable opinion, or an unfavorable opinion, on an assortment of political figures, groups, and issues.

Seventy-four percent of those polled said they have a favorable opinion of local police, 67% are in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement, and 56% are in favor of Obamacare. Among political figures referenced in the poll, President George W. Bush was the most favored at 58%, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 53%, Trump at 43%, Senator Mitt Romney at 42% and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 41%. 

Broken down by political party, 89% of Democrats favor wearing masks and 68% of Republicans do, according to the Fox News Poll conducted under the joint direction of Beacon Research and Shaw & Company Research.

Just 23% of those polled said large rallies were a good idea, while 16% said it depends if there is social distancing and masks are enforced at the event.

When asked if they could send one message to the federal government, 47% said they would ask to have the government “protect my health” while 27% asked to “protect my freedoms” and 24% said they wanted both or were mixed.

A total of 52% said they were comfortable going back to stores and restaurants right now and 47% said they still did not feel comfortable due to the virus. Thirty-eight percent said the government did not go far enough with its lockdown in response to the virus, and 38% said it the response was about right.

Most voters polled also believe the economy is in poor shape. Seventy-one percent said it is only fair or poor, compared to just 44% of voters back in January who felt the same way.

The results of Fox News Poll were announced the same day the highest court in Oklahoma declined to stop a Trump campaign rally in Tulsa despite concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus. The rally is the first for the president since early March, before the spread of the novel coronavirus.

To slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, a patchwork of health orders now dot the American landscape. Some local governments require residents to wear face masks while in public or in enclosed spaces, like in California. This week Arizona retracted a statewide ban on local mask requirements amid a sharp spike in cases with some hospitals.

Tickets to Tulsa’s BOK Center, which has a capacity of 19,199, included a disclaimer that said attendees voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19 and agree not to hold the campaign liable for any illness. Meanwhile, Biden traded his “No Malarkey” tour bus for virtual press briefings from his home basement.

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