Data Journalist

A small group of protestors in Michigan made headlines last week for defying the state’s lockdown orders in order to protest at the state Capitol. The demonstrators who carried swastikas, Confederate flags, and assault rifles, pushed Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer to reopen the state’s economy more quickly.

President Donald Trump called the protestors “good people” on Friday and pushed the Michigan Governor to “give a little, and put out the fire.” By Sunday, Whitmer was on CNN responding to the protests by saying, “We have to listen to the epidemiologist and health experts and displays like the one we saw at our capitol is not representative of who we are.”

State-level survey data from YouGov shows that Whitmer is correct: a majority in Michigan (62%) say these lockdowns—which are designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases—do not violate their constitutional rights. The poll, which was conducted April 22 - 23, included 471 people who live in Michigan and 16,326 Americans overall. The data is weighted to be nationally representative.

However, a majority of Michigan Republicans (54%) believe the lockdowns are a violation of constitutional rights. About two in five (42%) GOPers in the state say they are not. Most Michigan Democrats (82%) and a plurality of the state’s Independents (50%) say the closures are not a constitutional infringement.

States with high-profile protests against the lockdowns do not believe the restrictions violate their constitutional rights. A majority of individuals who live in Washington (63%), Minnesota (60%), Arizona (59%), Wisconsin (59%), and Colorado (56%) say the state-by-state orders against reopening their local economies do not breach their national rights.

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Related: What the Confederate flag means in America today 

Methodology: Total weighted sample size was 17,805 US Adults aged 18+. Participants were asked, “Do you believe that a state lockdown due to COVID-19 does or does not violate constitutional rights?” Response options were: These lockdowns violate constitutional rights, These lockdowns do not violate constitutional rights, or Don’t know.” The survey was conducted April 22 - 26, 2020. 

There were 471 people from Michigan surveyed, including 182 Michigan Democrats, 114 Michigan Republicans, and 124 Michigan Independents. There were 402 people from Washington, 304 people from Minnesota, 824 people from Arizona, 484 people from Wisconsin, and 816 people from Colorado surveyed. The responding sample is weighted to provide a representative sample of the United States.

Image: Getty

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