As Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent mask mandate repeal goes into effect, new polling results show that there is a stark divide between urban and rural areas when it comes to mask wearing.
Immediately after Abbott announced his decision to repeal the statewide mask mandate, Progress Texas commissioned a poll to ask Texans how they felt about his decision. The results make one thing clear: there are sharp political contrasts on this issue that become even more apparent when you take geography and race into account.
Public opinion on repeal of the mandate averages to an even split of 48% in support and 48% opposed with 4% undecided, but opinions offer a more stark contrast at the local level. In major metro areas, the big cities where roughly 70% of the state’s population resides, Texans disapprove of the repeal by wide margins - whereas non-urban parts of the state support the move.
Texans who live in big cities and those who are people of color have been hit hard by the pandemic, and these communities are the ones who overwhelmingly oppose Abbott’s repeal of the mask mandate. Within political parties, Democrats and Independents do not support repeal of the mandate by wide margins, while Republicans are the only voters who do.
Medical experts agree that the mask mandates should be kept in place a bit longer. It’s unfortunate this policy has been politicized to the point that Republican lawmakers are no longer concerned about the science and more concerned about their agendas.
Here’s a closer look at the data:
Methodology: The Progress Texas/PPP survey of 997 registered Texas voters was conducted by Public Policy Polling from March 5, 2021 to March 6, 2021 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. The method of conducting the poll was 50% by landline and 50% by text message.
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