Seventy-seven percent of New Hampshire residents polled say they always wear a face mask in public, or do so except when outside and socially distancing. Only half of regular Fox News viewers and a third of conservative talk radio listeners, however, report taking such precautions, according to a new UNH Granite State Panel survey.
Lawrence Hamilton and Thomas Safford of The Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of NH discussed the results of a statewide poll of NH residents to learn about their perceptions and behavior during the pandemic.
- By a 2 to 1 margin, respondents say that controlling the spread of COVID-19 should be a higher government priority than restarting the economy, but only small fractions of conservative media consumers hold this view.
- Despite taking personal precautions, 56 percent worry that they or a family member might become sick, and 59 percent think that the worst of the pandemic is yet to come for the United States; conservative media consumers are less worried and more optimistic.
- Large and growing majorities disapprove of how President Trump is handling the COVID-19 situation.
These divergent behaviors and outlooks will influence the course of the pandemic for everyone, in ways that become clear over the months and years ahead, the authors say.