Joey Bunch at the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports on the results of a new poll conducted jointly with 9NEWS in Denver on Coloradans’ views of vaccination and mask mandates. The results of this poll are an encouraging sign that even after a year and a half of painful restrictions forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Coloradans still in majority numbers support prevention measures and the science behind them:
Most Coloradans agree with government leaders who are imposing vaccine mandates and mask mandates to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its Delta variant, according to a survey commissioned by Colorado Politics, the Denver Gazette and 9News.
The SurveyUSA assessment indicated 55% support the public health orders such as those imposed by Gov. Jared Polis, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and other local governments across the state.
Also consistent with polling in other states is a sharp partisan divide in support for mask mandates:
Those who identified as Democrats overwhelmingly supported mask requirements at 81%, compared to 48% of unaffiliated voters and 26% of Republicans. [Pols emphasis]
9NEWS zeroes in with their coverage on the hot-button question of mask mandates in schools, which recently served as the pretext for the all-GOP Douglas County Board of Commissioners to make good on longstanding threats to withdraw from the Tri-County Health Department:
When it comes to teachers, 57% of respondents said they should be required to wear masks in schools, while 31% said they shouldn’t. Another 11% said they weren’t sure.
When it comes to kids, 55% of respondents said they should be required to wear masks, while 37% said no. The final 8% of respondents weren’t sure.
Again, the sharp partisan divide over what should never have become a partisan issue makes the impact of statewide public opinion uneven based on geography. There’s room in these results for deep-red areas of the state like DougCo to continue to reject the majority’s support for vaccine and mask mandates without officials accountable only to those local electorates paying a political price.
Unfortunately for Republican candidates looking beyond their conservative strongholds, DougCo can’t deliver a statewide election. In Colorado, the choice to appease voters who have been taught to resist COVID prevention measures for political gain comes at the expense of majority support.
As long as that remains the case, Republicans are wilfully undercutting themselves.