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Exclusive Poll: Less than half of Georgians approve of how Trump, Kemp have responded to COVID-19

The exclusive 11Alive/SurveyUSA August poll also says 2/3 of Georgians feel if a city wants to have stricter virus restrictions than the state, it should be allowed.

ATLANTA — A new, exclusive 11Alive News/SurveyUSA Poll finds that if a coronavirus vaccine is developed, a full one-third of Georgians are not likely to take it.

While there is a consensus across the state that the nation has done a poor job at controlling the spread of the virus, many Georgia residents are torn on what needs to be done in order to correct the problems that exists.

There is a split on how Georgia residents feel state and federal leaders have responded to the virus. Forty-five percent of those responding approve of how President Donald Trump has responded to the coronavirus, while 47 percent disapprove. Seventy-two percent of Blacks and Hispanics disapprove versus 31 percent of whites.

Forty-three percent of respondents approve of how Gov. Brian Kemp has responded to the virus, while 46 percent disapprove.

Conservatives responding to the survey were eight times more likely than liberals to strongly approve of the governor's response to the virus.

And 34 percent of those responding statewide said they trust Gov. Kemp more to make decisions about the virus, while 37 percent say they trust their local mayor more.

RELATED: Coronavirus in Georgia | Latest numbers for Sunday, Aug. 9

The survey showed that Republicans trust the governor more by a 4-to-1 margin, while Democrats trust their mayors more also, by a 4-to-1 margin.

The partisan divide is making it more difficult for officials and scientists to curb the pandemic, said GOP former state Rep. Buzz Brockway.  "I think that is hampering us," said Brockway, who is now with the Georgia Center for Opportunity. "A crisis should be something that brings us all together. But it’s not. It’s forcing us into some of our camps."

Georgians who know someone suffering from COVID-19 trust their mayor more by a 4-to-3 margin, however, those Georgians who do not know someone with coronavirus trust the governor by a similar 4-to-3 margin.

Roughly 1-in-7 Georgians said that the state's public schools should not open at all at the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Another 1-in-7 of the state's residents said schools should open for in-school instruction.

In the middle of those viewpoints, 36 percent of the state's residents say the state's public schools should open for remote learning only -- disproportionately Black and Hispanic women. Another 28 percent (disproportionately young men) said public schools should use a hybrid split schedule with some students in school some days and out on others.

RELATED: Georgia COVID-19 data | Interactive map of the state

Across the board, however, Georgians appear to agree, by a 4-to-1 margin, that if a local area wants more strict coronavirus rules, they should be allowed to have them.

Similarly, Georgians agree by a 2-to-1 margin that face masks should be mandatory in an indoor public setting. The majority of those that agree are in urban and suburban areas, while rural residents do not.  "Mask wearing seems to be controversial on social media and nowhere else," Brockway said. "It’s one of those issues where I think social media is way out of step with the real world."

By a 5-to-3 margin, Georgians say they trust epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci than they trust President Trump.

Only 9 percent of Georgia residents say the nation is doing an excellent job at controlling the virus. Four times as many -- 37 percent -- say the United States is doing a poor job.

Twenty-six percent of those surveyed say they live in a household where someone has lost a job because of the virus, while 35 percent live in a household where someone has had their hours reduced due to COVID-19.


1. Thinking about the entire United States .... Do you approve? ... Or do you disapprove? ... Of the way President Donald Trump has responded to the Coronavirus?

  • 24% - Strongly Approve
  • 21% - Approve
  • 16% - Disapprove
  • 31% - Strongly Disapprove
  • 7% - Not Sure

2. Who do you trust more to handle the Coronavirus?

  • 29% - President Donald Trump
  • 46% - Dr. Anthony Fauci
  • 25% - Not Sure

3. Overall, how is the United States doing at controlling the Coronavirus?

  • 9% - Excellent
  • 23% - Good
  • 28% - Fair
  • 37% - Poor
  • 3% - Not Sure

4. Now, turning to the state of Georgia ... Do you approve? ... Or do you disapprove? ... Of the way Governor Brian Kemp has responded to the Coronavirus?

  • 16% - Strongly Approve
  • 27% - Approve
  • 23% - Disapprove
  • 23% - Strongly Disapprove
  • 11% - Not Sure

5. Who do you trust more to handle the Coronavirus? 

  • 34% - Governor Brian Kemp
  • 37% - Your Local Mayor
  • 30% - Not Sure

6. Are the current statewide Coronavirus restrictions in Georgia too strict? Just about right? Or not strict enough?

  • 9% - Too Strict
  • 36% - Just About Right
  • 48% - Not Strict Enough
  • 7% - Not Sure

7. Should wearing masks in all indoor public places in Georgia be mandatory? Or not mandatory?

  • 62% - Mandatory
  • 32% - Not Mandatory
  • 6% - Not Sure

8. Should this school year start with Georgia public schools offering in-person learning only, with all classes conducted in classrooms? Offering remote learning only, with all classes conducted online? Offering a "hybrid" school model, where on any given day some students are taking classes online and others are in the school building for in-person learning? Or should schools not open at all?

  • 14% - In-person Learning Only
  • 36% - Remote Learning Only
  • 28% - Hybrid Model
  • 15% - Should Not Open At All
  • 7% - Not Sure

9. Should Georgia cities and towns that wish to have stricter Coronavirus restrictions than the rest of the state be allowed to do so? Or be banned from doing so?

  • 69% - Allowed To Have Stricter Restrictions
  • 18% - Banned From Having Stricter Restrictions
  • 14% - Not Sure

10. Do you personally know anyone who now has or who previously has had the Coronavirus?

  • 51% - Yes
  • 45% - No
  • 5% - Not Sure

11. How concerned are you that you, personally, will get the Coronavirus?

  • 26% - Extremely Concerned
  • 38% - Concerned
  • 24% - Not Concerned
  • 8% - Extremely NOT Concerned
  • 4% - Not Sure

12. If a Coronavirus vaccine is developed and becomes available, how likely would you be to get the vaccination?

  • 22% - 100% Certain To Get
  • 19% - Very Likely
  • 17% - Somewhat Likely
  • 13% - Not Very Likely
  • 7% - Not At All Likely
  • 12% - 100% Certain To NOT Get
  • 9% - Not Sure

13. Just your best guess ...Is the worst of fallout from the Coronavirus still ahead? Or behind us?

  • 55% - Still Ahead
  • 25% - Behind Us
  • 20% - Not Sure

14. Have you or anyone in your household lost a job because of the Coronavirus?

  • 26% - Yes
  • 71% - No
  • 3% - Not Sure

15. Have you or anyone in your household had your hours greatly reduced because of the Coronavirus?

  • 35% - Yes
  • 62% - No
  • 4% - Not Sure


SurveyUSA interviewed 800 state of Georgia adults 08/06/2020 through 08/08/2020. This research was conducted online among a random and representative cross-section of Georgia adults. Results were nominally weighted to US Census Bureau targets for gender, age, race, education and home-ownership to ensure that the respondent pool reflects the state.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus.  We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.


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