Posts tagged with "Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll"

Absent clear federal guidance on COVID-19, the nation’s governors come to the rescue

March 27, 2020

The coronavirus crisis is a dark cloud, but even this modern plague has a silver lining: Americans at the state and local levels are finding ways to link arms and handle it themselves, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Indeed, absent a federal focus on the health of Americans, rather than on the vitality of the economy, the nation’s governors have taken up the cause. Among those who have assumed leadership during the U.S. emergency are two Republicans— Mike DeWine of Ohio and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts—and three Democrats—Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gavin Newsom of California, and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois.

Indeed, Cuomo is even being hyped as a shoo-in for the presidential nomination—replacing Joe Biden at a brokered Democratic Convention.

On March 22, for example, amid continuing mixed messages from the White House and Congress about the severity of the problem, a handful of governors took decisive action to effectively close bars and restaurants to slow the spread of the disease.

In the opinion of the Journal, “the most effective leader in the nation so far, in fact, may be … DeWine of Ohio”—chosen by the new outlet because, “He was among the first to ban large public gatherings and order schools closed. He declared that NCAA basketball tournament games scheduled for his state would have to be played without fans in the stands; within days, the NCAA followed by canceling the entire tournament.”

The Journal notes, “Initially, [Governor] DeWine appeared to be overreacting; today, he looks prescient.”

For his part, New York’s Governor Cuomo has relentlessly campaigned to receive funding and mandated manufacturing for the countless numbers of respirators, ventilators, and hospital beds that his state—the current U.S. epicenter of the virus—will need, if the healthcare community is not to be overwhelmed.

Citizens seem to have noticed. In a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday, Americans were asked who they have confidence in to handle the coronavirus. About half said President Trump, 62% said the federal government and 72% said their local government. The largest share—75%—said they had confidence in their state government.

Meantime, other institutions also are helping fill the void. Churches are making their own decisions about telecasting services so their flocks don’t have to gather; mayors are setting policies on public gatherings; businesses are developing new workplace protocols.

Still, there are limits to this grassroots coping. Active as others might be, the coronavirus crisis also serves as a reminder that there remain vital tasks only the federal government can perform.

The most important voice in guiding state and local leaders in their decisions has come from Washington, D.C., the Journal says—but it is not the president. It belongs to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“Only the federal government can devise a plan to ensure that all Americans who need a test for the coronavirus can get one—a task that Dr. Fauci acknowledges it has failed at so far,” the Journal says.

Research contact: @WSJ

Poll: Nearly 61% of Democratic voters support Biden, while 32% prefer Sanders

March 17, 2020

“Sleepy Joe” has woken up and energized Democratic presidential primary voters nationwide. They now overwhelmingly back Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders—a dramatic reversal in their standings of just one month ago, the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows.

Among those who have already voted or plan to do so, 61% support the former vice president, while 32% would prefer the Vermont senator as their party’s nominee.

The standings in the poll—conducted between March 11 and March 13—are a major change from mid-February, when the survey showed Sanders backed by 27% of Democratic primary voters and Biden favored by just 15%.

At the time, Sanders stood alone as the party’s front-runner, while Biden was among four candidates essentially tied for second place. But the former vice president’s fortunes changed significantly following his win in South Carolina’s February 29 primary,and dominance in a string of field-narrowing primaries since then, the Journal says..

The share of Democratic primary voters who say they have definitely settled on a candidate has skyrocketed in the past month, from 37% to 80%, giving. Sanders little room for growth beyond his current base.

Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic, which has altered many aspects of the campaign, is making it harder for Sanders to break through with his message. It has also eliminated the large rallies that provide much of the fuel for his campaign, the news outlet notes.

“Bernie Sanders is on a cement trampoline—not a lot of bounce,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who worked on the survey with Jeff Horwitt, also a Democrat, and Republican Bill McInturff.

“The race is sort of locked into place,” said. McInturff. “This is very clear, definitive data about the status of this race and the things Bernie Sanders was unable to do to create a coalition.”

Looking to the general election, Biden led Trump in the new survey by 9 percentage points (52% to 43%) in a test match-up, while Mr. Sanders led by 4 points (49% to 45). Both margins were essentially unchanged from February.

Research contact: @WSJ