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Arizonans still concerned, but cautiously optimistic about COVID-19

(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

PHOENIX — While the majority of Arizonans expressed concern about the coronavirus in a recent poll, almost half of the participants said they had some short-term optimism about the pandemic.

An OH Predictive Insights poll released Thursday showed 20% of Arizonans think COVID-19 conditions will get much better over the next 30 days and another 26% think the status will get somewhat better.

Thirty-two percent of respondents thought the issue would worsen over the next month.

“(It) showed Arizona is, for the first time since April when the initial lockdown began, they’re starting to see the short-term light at the end of the tunnel,” OH Predictive Insights chief of research Mike Noble said to KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

“It’s the first time Arizonans are having a more optimistic view than pessimistic, based on the last four months, which has been declining precipitously.”

This comes in conjunction with improved coronavirus rates in Arizona over the past month. The rolling seven-day average for newly reported cases fell to 935.29 on Saturday, the lowest it’s been since June 6, according to tracking by The Associated Press.

For the 24,040 samples taken since Sunday that have been processed and recorded, the positive rate is 6%, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. That’s on pace to be the lowest since the week of May 17.

Mask use has become widespread in the state, as 84% of people surveyed said they wear one most of the time or always when in public.

With the improved numbers, the poll found Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s approval rating has also had a slight increase.

A survey from Covid States found that in late June, Ducey’s approval rating was at 32%.

In the new OH poll, 27% of people said they somewhat approved of his coronavirus response and 14% said they strongly approve. The largest percentage, though, strongly disapprove, with 32% checking that box.

“The big key is, for elected officials … there’s a direct correlation between infections rates and how you’re perceived, good or bad, by voters,” Noble said.

Noble said that the most “shocking” thing about the results to him was how politically charged the answers were when OH asked respondents their political affiliation.

“There’s a massive disparity between the views on this issue between Democrats and Republicans,” Noble said. “Democrats are very much more concerned about the issue. It’s definitely a very high concern level compared to Republicans.”

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