AUSTIN, Texas — A statewide poll obtained exclusively by Breitbart Texas is providing the first detailed picture of how seriously Texans are concerned about the threat from Ebola, and their opinion of the Obama administration’s response.
The poll, conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, sought to gauge public sentiment among likely voters in Texas after the news broke of the first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola within the United States, a Liberian man named Thomas Eric Duncan, who was being treated at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The poll is the first to be conducted just within the state of Texas, and showed, perhaps unsurprisingly, that the “overwhelming majority” of Texans are concerned about the Ebola outbreak, and also that the majority do not believe that President Barack Obama and his administration have done enough to keep Americans safe.
When asked about their level of concern regarding the Ebola outbreak, nearly three-quarters of poll respondents said that they were concerned, with 40% saying they were very concerned and an additional 34% saying they were concerned. Twenty-four percent said they were not concerned.
The question posed to ask whether Texans believed the Obama administration was responding adequately to the crisis read as follows:
“As you may know The Center for Diseases Control and Prevention confirmed that the first case of Ebola has appeared in the United States. A man who flew into Dallas from Liberia has tested positive for the virus. Based on what you know today, would you say that President Obama and the federal government went above and beyond, put some effort, has done close to nothing, or has done nothing to keep Americans safe from the Ebola virus?”
In response to this question, 47% said the Obama administration and the federal government “has done either close to nothing or nothing to keep Americans safe from the Ebola virus.”
“Texas voters are clearly concerned about the Ebola virus within our state,” Lauren Luxenburg, a WPA account executive, told Breitbart Texas. ” The polling results also show feelings that President Obama and his administration aren’t doing enough to protect the American people from this outbreak.”
The poll was conducted via live telephone interview between October 2 and 5, 2014, before Duncan died, or before Nina Pham, one of the nurses who treated Duncan, was diagnosed as having contracted Ebola from him. In light of these news developments, it is possible that public sentiment has become even more negative, as Luxenburg acknowledged. “Following the death of the Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan and public awareness of the outbreak with a new case from his nurse Nina Pham, it is likely that voters are laying more blame on this administration than they were earlier this month,” she said.
The poll surveyed 750 likely voters in Texas, screening to avoid members of the news media or public relations company, and to balance for gender, age, ethnicity, and geographic area of Texas. The margin of error is ±3.6% in 95 out of 100 cases.
[Disclosure: The Texas Public Policy Foundation, where the author of this piece was previously employed, contracted with WPA Opinion Research to conduct a poll while she was still employed there. She does not currently have any business relationship with them.]
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.