coronavirus virus

News Briefs: Views on How Government is Dealing With COVID, Patriotic States Ranking

By State Legislatures Staff | Aug. 27, 2020 | State Legislatures Magazine

What Level of Government Is Doing Best at Fighting the Virus?

Nearly three-quarters of Americans are worried about someone in their family getting infected with the coronavirus, but they believe state and local governments are doing a better job at combatting th­­­­­e deadly disease than either Congress or the president, according to a new survey of 1,075 adults conducted Aug. 17-19 by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

But “better” doesn’t necessarily mean “great” or even “good,” as 44% approved somewhat or strongly of state governments’ response, and that figure is down 4 percentage points from July. But it’s not bad compared with congressional leaders’ 13% approval rating and the federal government’s 23% rating.

The president’s approval rating, specifically, is much more partisan than the others. Two-thirds of Republicans and 23% of independents approve (somewhat or strongly) of how the administration has responded to the pandemic, while only 7% of Democrats do. Flipped around, 31% of Republicans disapprove of his performance, while 93% of Democrats and 71% of independents believe he’s failed to protect Americans from the disease.

A growing majority of Americans say that, in the wake of the pandemic, they want government to improve the financial situations of individuals (66%), small businesses (66%) and public schools (64%).

The nationwide poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. The full results of the survey can be found here.

States’ Level of Patriotism Based on More Than Flag Waving

State rankings are popular. Everyone wants to know where their state falls in comparison with neighboring states. And sometimes there’s a surprise or two.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, recently ranked states by their level of patriotism. To determine the most patriotic states, WalletHub compared two key dimensions, “military engagement” and “civic engagement,” then evaluated those dimensions using 13 factors, including the number of former Peace Corps volunteers per capita, the percentage of the population who voted in the 2016 elections and the rigorousness of civics education requirements. The top five most patriotic states, in order, were New Hampshire, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska and Maryland.

Among other findings: The top five states for Peace Corps volunteers were Vermont, Montana, Oregon, Virginia and Maryland, and those with the highest percentage of voters in 2016 were Maine, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Hampshire and Minnesota.

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