The vast majority of Oregonian voters support "stay at home" orders to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey by DHM Research.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order on March 23. The support crosses all party, geographic and employment lines, according to the survey released on Tuesday, April 22.
"Support is wide and deep. It cuts across geography, political party, and among those most financially harmed by the lockdowns," a survey summary said.
Majorities also say the most important conditions to meet before reopening are widespread COVID-19 testing with declining positive cases, sufficient hospital capacity, and the availability of effective treatments, the survey found.
Such support is strong despite the economic hardship caused by the responses to the pandemic. Forty percent of respondents said their household has lost income because of the pandemic.
The survey found that protesters calling for Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to re-open the state's economy do not represent most residents.
"Protests advocating against stay at home orders have popped up nationally and in Oregon. The protests have a definite partisan make up, with Republicans and supporters of President Trump clearly visible," the summary said. "However, the views of the protestors are a distinctly minority view, not only of Oregonians generally, but Republicans specifically."
Overall, the survey found that 82% percent of Oregonians strongly or somewhat support stay at home orders.
Although support is strongest in the Willamette Valley at 85%, that is only one point more than the 84% in the Portland metro area. Support in the rest of the state is 75%.
Ninety-five percent of Democrats support stay at home orders. Nearly three-fourth of Republicans — 72% - also support such orders, however, and so do 77% of Independent and non-affiliated voters.
Perhaps surprisingly, those who have lost their jobs or taken pay cuts support such orders more than those who with no losses by a margin of 83% to 81%.
Strong majorities also support conditions for allowing the Oregon economy to reopen:
- 74% support the availability of widespread COVID-19 testing and 14 consecutive days of declining positive cases.
- 67% says Oregon hospitals should have enough beds, protective gear, and staff to manage the expected number of patients for all healthcare needs.
- 63% said effective COVID-19 treatments should be available even if the virus continues to spread in Oregon.
Support for the condition is strong despite the finding that 56% of Oregonians now report that they are very or somewhat worried about their personal financial situation.
"An incredibly high number of households report job and income losses. 24% say that they or someone in their household has lost their job due to COVID-19, while 28% say that they or someone in their household has had their pay cut or hours reduced," a survey summary said.
The survey also found Oregonians are reluctant to set deadlines for re-opening the economy. Just 43% said that they would support re-opening by Jan. 1, 2021, no matter what. Even fewer — 33% — supported re-opening on June 1, 2020, no matter what. Similarly, only 34% support re-opening if Oregon's unemployment rate is 15% or higher.
The research was completed as a community service by DHM Research in partnership with the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center. Both organizations are independent and non-partisan. DHM is a Certified B Corporation and OVBC is an Oregon charitable nonprofit corporation.
The survey of 900 Oregonians age 18 and over was conducted between April 17 and 21.
You can find the survey results here.
This article was originally published by Pamplin Media Group, one of more than a dozen news organizations throughout the state sharing their coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak to help inform Oregonians about this evolving health issue.