Americans are in less of a hurry to reopen than their governors. Despite the movement toward economic reopening in all 50 states, we see little evidence that Americans are clamoring to speed up the reopening process. Overall, we found only a five percentage point increase from our prior survey wave in late April in the percentage of Americans preferring that the economy reopen “immediately.” A sizable majority (60%) of Americans continue to prefer that the country wait at least four more weeks prior to reopening.
Partisan cracks on reopening are emerging. This general hesitation about reopening, however, masks an emerging partisan divide. Republicans jumped from 9% in support of immediate reopening to 19%, while Democrats barely moved, from 2% in late April to 3% in early May. The net effect of the Republican shift is that a majority of Republicans now prefer reopening in four weeks or less, compared with over four in five Democrats preferring to wait six or more weeks.