One-in-four voters are prepared already to postpone the November presidential election – for the first time in U.S. history - if the coronavirus threat continues. Support is much higher for delaying upcoming primaries.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 25% of Likely U.S. Voters think the November election should be delayed if necessary as coronavirus panic grips the nation. Sixty-two percent (62%) are opposed to any such delay, but another 13% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
There is virtually no difference of opinion among Republicans, Democrats and voters not affiliated with either major party on this question.
Nearly half (48%) of all voters believe upcoming state primaries should be postponed because of the coronavirus threat. Thirty-seven percent (37%) disagree and say they should be held on their scheduled dates. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.
Five states have postponed their primaries so far because of coronavirus.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted March 17-18, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Americans strongly support the government’s travel bans and school closings in response to the coronavirus threat, but one-in-four think panic, not reason, is driving some decisions.
Republicans (52%) are slightly more supportive of postponing upcoming primaries than Democrats (48%) and unaffiliated voters (45%).
Women and those under 40 are much more supportive of delaying the November election than men and older voters are. The younger the voter, the more they support postponing upcoming primaries as well.
Blacks oppose delaying primaries much more than whites and other minority voters do. Whites are the strongest opponents of postponing the presidential election.
Voters who favor postponing upcoming state primaries are evenly divided on the question of delaying the November election as well. Among those who oppose any delays in primaries, 85% oppose postponing the election in November.
Americans are noticeably less confident that the U.S. health care system can deal with the coronavirus problem.
Sixty-three percent (63%) of Democrats nationally now feel that former Vice President Joe Biden best represents their party and would make the best candidate against President Trump. Voters expect Biden to easily beat Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination and would opt for Biden over Trump if the general election were held today.