As Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt and President Donald Trump push to open back up public places and businesses, nearly half of all Oklahomans say they plan a much slower return to public places until a vaccine or other medicines are identified to combat the virus.

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Just over one-in-five Oklahomans plan to get out and resume their pre-pandemic behavior as before, and another 18 percent plan to do the same but wear a mask or other protective gear. Interestingly, 4.5 percent plan on not getting out at all.

[QUESTION] When stay-at-home or shelter-at-home restrictions are eventually lifted, and public places, restaurants, bars, sports arenas and businesses open back up, which best fits your opinion?

1. I will get out and resume my pre-pandemic behavior as before 21.5%
2. I will get out and resume my pre-pandemic behavior as before, but wear a mask or other protective gear 18.0
3. I will get out LESS than my pre-pandemic behavior until a vaccine or other medicines are identified to combat the virus 49.2
4. I will not get out at all 4.5
5. Unsure 6.8

Oklahomans expressed great concern about the spread of the coronavirus with 43.2 percent ‘very concerned’ and another 42.6 percent just concerned.  Only 10.8 percent were not concerned at all.

Oklahomans do appear to be enjoying the time spent at home during the shelter-at-home orders from city and state officials.  More than one-in-four (25.7 percent) said the time by themselves or with family was ‘very enjoyable,’ and another 35.7 percent said the time was somewhat enjoyable.  Only 17.6 percent expressed it was ‘somewhat stressful’ and 2.8 percent as ‘very stressful.’

[QUESTION] How would you best describe the time spent at home during the coronavirus pandemic, either by yourself or with family?

1. Very enjoyable 25.7%
2. Somewhat enjoyable 35.7
3. Neutral/ no difference 18.3
4. Somewhat stressful 17.6
5. Very stressful 2.8

When asked about wearing protective gear in public, 59 percent of Oklahomans said they would wear it with no problems, another 21.1 percent said they would wear it with no problems but won’t be happy about it.  If mandated to wear protective gear in public, 19.2 percent of Oklahomans said they would probably go out less.

[QUESTION] If officials mandate that everyone must wear a mask or other protective gear in public, which best fits your opinion?

1. I will wear it with no problems 59.0%
2. I will wear it, but not without being unhappy about it 21.1
3. The mandate will limit my desire to go out in public and will probably go out less 19.2
4. I will NOT go out at all if it is mandated 0.8

Still, 70 percent of Oklahoma believe the coronavirus is a real threat, and that the coronavirus pandemic is more harmful to them and their family than the restrictions placed on them not to work, shop or travel.

[QUESTION] At this point, which is more harmful to you and your family?

1. The coronavirus and the pandemic 70.6%
2. The restrictions placed on us to not work, shop or travel 29.4

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of the general population of Oklahoma residents.  The poll was commissioned by News9 and Newson6 in Tulsa.

The scientific study was conducted from April 22-27, 2020 with 599 Oklahomans selected at random statewide from ShapardResearch’s own online panel of Oklahomans. SoonerPoll is a brand of ShapardResearch.

The sample was weighted by age, race, and gender. The weighting was conducted using a ‘layered technique.’  The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 4.0 percent.

A complete description of the methodology can be found here.  A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

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Bill is the founder of SoonerPoll.com and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004. Under Bill’s leadership, SoonerPoll has become the leading public opinion polling company in the state of Oklahoma conducting more public opinion polls for Oklahoma news media than all other pollsters combined since 2006. Bill’s commitment to go above and beyond the AAPOR ethical guidelines of minimum disclosure ensures that SoonerPoll produces quality results every time. Bill has lectured at Oklahoma State University on developing polling methodologies, data collection processes, and advanced likely voter sampling techniques. Bill also serves as an on-air political commentator for Oklahoma television stations.

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