Marquette poll: Most Republicans don’t consider COVID-19 a “serious problem” where they live

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 9:23 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2021 at 6:44 PM CDT
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WMTV) - As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Wisconsin and nationwide, fewer than half of Republicans consider the pandemic a serious problem in their home state, according to a new Marquette Law School poll.

According to the results released Thursday, a slight majority of people (51%) who responded to the poll and identified as a Republican told pollsters that COVID-19 was “not a serious problem” in their state. The poll comes as the latest community transmission map from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention shows nearly 95% of the nation’s counties are at high levels.

Crossing parties, nearly two-thirds of independents (64%) felt the pandemic was still a serious problem where they lived, while 9 in 10 Democrats expressed similar reservations.

While the poll surveyed adults nationwide, in Wisconsin, health officials are reporting increasing COVID-19 activity with eight states now ranked in the critical category that was resurrected after cases started climbing again.

Party IDSerious ProblemNot Serious Problem

That sentiment carried over, as well, when Marquette pollsters asked about vaccination status, although the percentages of those who were vaccinated were notably higher than their concern levels for GOP supporters and independents.

Sixty-four percent of Republicans claimed they were vaccinated, a number that soared to 84% among those that also expressed concern that COVID-19 was a serious problem in their home state. The poll also showed about three-quarters of independents were vaccinated, which also jumped nearly as high as the GOP figure when limited to those with serious concerns about the pandemic.

For Democrats, the vaccination rate echoed the number of those who considered COVID-19 a serious worry – 90%.

Party IDVaccinatedNot Vaccinated

Partisanship could be considered a key indicator in individuals support for requiring face coverings in elementary and high schools. However, Marquette’s poll also showed whether or not someone had a child under 18 years old appeared to play a big role in their opinion – with parents more likely to oppose mask mandates.

For example, a third of parents who identified as Republicans wanted to require masks, as opposed to 98% of self-described Democrats who did not have a child under 18 years old. (Full breakdown below)

Party IDParentSupportOppose

Moving on to colleges and universities, pollsters switched from asking about mask mandates to vaccine mandates, and found similar partisan divides, with nearly 90% of Democrats wanting institutes of higher learning to impose them compared to 38% of Republicans. Independents split the difference almost evenly, with 62% supporting requiring vaccines and 38% opposing the mandates.

Party IDSupportOppose

According to the Marquette Law School, the survey was conducted between Sept. 7 and Sept. 16, and pollsters interviewed 1,411 adults across the country. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.4%

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