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News Poll: Delawareans strongly support mask requirements

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Results also show residents back transgender rights and have concerns about a rigged election

Read the press release.

OCTOBER 14, 2020—Delawareans overwhelmingly support mask requirements, according to a new University of Delaware Center for Political Communication poll. 

More than three-fourths of Delawareans support requiring everyone to wear face masks in public, with 78% supporting such a requirement and 19% opposed. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, 70% of Delaware residents say they always wear masks when outside their homes. Another 15% say they wear masks very often, while 10% wear them sometimes. Only 4% say they rarely or never wear masks in public.

The state’s residents also back laws to protect transgender students from discrimination. Four in five Delawareans support laws to protect transgender students from discrimination. Since 2018, support for such laws has increased from 75% to 81%. Over the same period, opposition to protecting transgender students’ rights has decreased from 18% to 11%. The poll comes as national and statewide debates continue over measures to enact protections for transgender students.

​Most Delawareans are very or somewhat concerned about potential problems with the election, with specific concerns about eligible voters not being allowed to vote, the election being rigged, and voter fraud. Two-thirds of those polled (68%) are concerned that eligible voters will not be allowed to vote, and almost as many (64%) are concerned about the election being rigged. In addition, 60% are very or somewhat concerned about voter fraud.

University of Delaware Center for Political Communication graph on "How concerned are you about general election issues?" based on 2020 Delaware Statewide Voters Survey, conducted in September 2020.

Most Delawareans hold favorable views of their governor and congressional delegation. Governor John Carney is viewed favorably by 63% of Delawareans. A majority of Delaware residents also holds positive opinions about Delaware’s Congressional delegation. Of those polled, 58% view U.S. Senator Chris Coons favorably, 54% view U.S. Senator Tom Carper favorably, and 53% view U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester favorably.

Carney, Coons, and Blunt Rochester are currently running for re-election, while Carper is not up for re-election until 2024. Carney, who is running against Republican Julianne Murray, and Blunt Rochester, who is running against Republican Lee Murphy, took part in the Delaware Debates this week at the University of Delaware.

Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long and Attorney General Kathy Jennings are not well known to Delawareans. Of those polled, 48% had not heard of or could not rate Hall-Long, while 49% had not heard of or could not rate Jennings. Delawareans familiar with the lieutenant governor and attorney general tended to hold positive views of them: 40% rated Hall-Long favorably and 37% rated Jennings favorably. Hall-Long is running for re-election in 2020.

Bar graph of Delaware voters' opinions of elected officials, based on 2020 Delaware Statewide Survey of 847 likely voters, conducted on September 21-27, presented by the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication.

About the Study

The National Agenda Opinion Project research was funded by the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication (CPC) with support from the College of Arts and Sciences. The study was supervised by the CPC’s Research Director, Paul Brewer, a professor in the Departments of Communication and Political Science & International Relations. 

Abt Associates fielded the study and obtained telephone interviews with a representative sample of 976 adults living in Delaware, including 911 registered voters. A total of 327 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone and 649 were interviewed on a cell phone. Interviewing was conducted from September 21-27, 2020, in English. Samples were drawn from both landline and cell phone random digit dialed (RDD) frames and a list of Delaware registered voters. Both the landline and cell phone RDD samples were provided by Dynata. 

Statistical results are weighted for telephone service, sample frame, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, and voter registration status by county to match the population parameters of the adult population in Delaware. The margin of sampling error for registered voters is ± 4 percentage points. Overall, the response rate (AAPOR RR3) was 2% for the landline RDD sample, 3% for the cell RDD sample, 4% for landline numbers from the RV sample, and 2% for cell numbers from the RV sample.  

Please contact Paul Brewer at (302) 831-7771 for more details about the survey’s methodology.

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New poll shows that Delawareans support mask requirements, transgender laws, and elected officials, and share concerns about election fraud.

​New poll shows that Delawareans support mask requirements, transgender laws, elected officials, and share concerns about election fraud.

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Poll: Delawareans strongly support mask requirements
  • Department of Communication
  • Department of Political Science and International Relations