Poll: 1 in 5 San Antonians admit to buying more toilet paper than usual during coronavirus pandemic

People more apt to blame neighbors for buying more toilet paper, Bexar Facts-KSAT-Rivard Report poll found

In this image made from video, Robert Buentello, an order selector, sorts through pallets of toilet paper at H-E-Bs main distribution center in Houston on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The Texas grocery chain says a surge of customer demand from panic buying due to concerns over the novel coronavirus has caused bottlenecks in the supply chain to its more than 400 stores throughout the state and Mexico. (AP Photo/John L. Mone) (John L. Mone)

SAN ANTONIO – Only one in five likely voters in Bexar County admit to having bought more toilet paper than usual amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Bexar Facts-KSAT-Rivard Report poll.

The number may seem low given reports and photos on social media of toilet paper hoarding across the country in recent months.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first started, toilet paper was one of the first things to fly off store shelves. H-E-B, Costco and other retailers put limits on purchases to try to preserve the supply.

While H-E-B won’t share any sales information, the Associated Press reported last month that toilet paper sales nationally jumped about 213% in the week ending March 14 compared to the same period a year before.

The poll was conducted from April 16 to April 20 and released Tuesday through a partnership between Bexar Facts, KSAT12 and The Rivard Report.

When asked “In the last few weeks, have you significantly increased the amount of toilet paper that you purchased,” only 20% answered yes. More than half of the respondents decided to not answer the question.

When the same respondents were asked if their neighbors did have bought more toilet paper, 21% said yes, 23% said no and 56% said they didn’t know.

So what gives? Are people to shy to admit it, or are 20% of the population buying all the toilet paper? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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About the poll

The poll is the first public opinion measure conducted locally since the pandemic began and was the second of 2020 released by the Bexar Facts partnership.

The poll included responses from 668 registered Bexar County voters of different income and education levels, race, age, gender and political party affiliation. Four out of five respondents answered in English, while one out of five answered in Spanish. The poll’s margin of error is 4%.

Didn’t get called for the poll, but still want to have your voice heard? Take the poll, via Bexar Facts, here or comment below.

See the full poll below:

About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.