New poll finds 29% of Colorado Republicans plan to get COVID-19 vaccination
Though COVID-19 has taken the lives of roughly 1 in 1,000 Coloradans, a new survey shows Republicans are neither very concerned about infection nor interested in being vaccinated.
The survey of 769 people was conducted online in mid-February by Boulder County-based conservative polling firm Magellan Strategies. It had an overall 3.5% margin of error.
When asked, “How concerned are you that you or someone in your family will become infected with the coronavirus?” 32% of Republicans said they were either “very” or “somewhat” concerned, compared to 89% of Democrats. When respondents were asked whether they planned to get a COVID-19 vaccine, 29% of Republicans said yes, compared to 88% of Democrats.
Magellan Strategies CEO David Flaherty said the results show these public health matters “have become a political statement.”
Public health officials in Colorado and beyond are desperately trying to convince people that the vaccine is safe, and that broad buy-in is the only clear way out of the pandemic. Nine percent of respondents said they hadn’t yet decided whether they’re comfortable being vaccinated.
The poll invited respondents to explain why they don’t want to be vaccinated. (The survey did not result specific hometowns or ages of respondents.)
“I don’t think the vaccine is trustworthy and could very well do permanent damage in my body,” one suburban Republican baby boomer said.
And a suburban Republican millennial said: “I trust in my personal healthy lifestyle decisions, vitamins, and immune system to do what it needs to do for me to flourish.”
The pandemic loomed large overall for Democrats and Republicans. Democrats listed an efficient vaccine roll-out as being more important than any other policy matter in the state, while Republicans prioritized “jobs and the economy,” “opening business,” “schools and education” and “mask policies” ahead of vaccine distribution.
Respondents also noted struggles with mental health in the pandemic: 92% of Democratic women said stress related to the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health; 74% of women overall gave the same answer, compared to 57% of men.
The survey found strong confidence in government leadership in the pandemic, with approval ratings between 51% and 56% for local, county, state and federal COVID-19 strategies. Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, who has received consistently high marks throughout the pandemic, had an approval rating of 56% — slightly higher than President Joe Biden’s.
Though the firm frequently polls for paying clients, this poll was internal and not paid for by anyone, Flaherty said.
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