Opposition to vaccine, mask mandates mainly limited to Republicans: poll
Nationwide opposition to mask and vaccine mandates is highest among Republicans, according to a new poll.
The Politico-Morning Consult poll published on Wednesday found that only 35 percent of Republicans surveyed said they support government mandates for vaccines. Republicans comprise the largest group of unvaccinated Americans.
Vaccine mandates were supported by nearly 8 in 10 Democrats polled and at least half of independent voters in the survey.
GOP support came in slightly higher for mask mandates, the poll found, but a majority of Republican respondents still expressed opposition, while majorities of Democrats and independents in the poll indicated they supported mandatory face covering measures.
The polling comes as the delta variant, now the dominant strain of the novel coronavirus in the United States, rips through the country and pushes the health care system in several states with lower than average vaccination rates to the brink.
In states like Florida and Texas, local health officials have reported they are seeing a spike in serious coronavirus cases in young patients, as federal health officials race to approve a vaccine for use among children.
President Biden’s White House, which has voiced support for efforts that would allow local governments to set their own policies for mask wearing and vaccination in order to slow the spread of the virus, has criticized Republican governors who have resisted such measures.
“We are continuing to look for ways … for the U.S. government to support districts and schools as they try to follow the science, do the right thing and save lives,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday. “I would note what is publicly available and knowable is that the American Rescue Plan funds that were distributed to Florida to provide assistance to schools have not yet been distributed from the state level.”
The Politico-Morning Consult poll was conducted Aug. 7-9 among 1,996 respondents. It has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.