BERKELEY (CBS SF) – Nine out of 10 Californians support wearing masks in indoor public places to curb COVID-19, while Californians remain split over the state’s reopening, according to poll results released Wednesday.
The survey of more than 8,200 voters by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies found 80% strongly favored mask requirements, while another 10% were somewhat in favor. Meanwhile, 66% of respondents said they believed that wearing a mask was “extremely effective” in preventing someone from contracting the coronavirus.
While a majority of people from both major parties backed requiring of masks, Republicans appeared more skeptical, with 28% voicing opposition to the requirements. Meanwhile 98% of Democrats surveyed and 94% of those without party affiliation backed the rules.
The poll also found partisan splits over how the state and local officials handled the reopening process. More than 6-in-10 believe the state eased restrictions too quickly, a view held by most of the Democrats surveyed. Meanwhile, Republicans overwhelmingly viewed that restrictions needed to be eased over damage to the economy.
“These findings demonstrate the powerful ways that partisanship shapes perceptions of the virus and proper health and safety protocols. Red versus Blue differences concerning mask wearing continue today,” Cristina Mora, co-director of the institute, said in a statement.
With the new school year set to start amid rising coronavirus case numbers, Californians are split over the best way to reopen schools. The poll found 42% favored a hybrid model of in-school and online instruction, while another 39% preferred online-only learning. Only 14% wanted to resume in-person instruction.
Earlier this week, the survey found large support for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden over President Donald Trump in California, with less than three months before Election Day. Pollsters found Biden had a 39 point lead over Trump in the Golden State.
The poll has a margin of error of plus / minus 2%.