President Joe Biden issued last week sweeping new coronavirus vaccine mandates, requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated and ordering businesses with more than 100 employees to vaccinate all workers or conduct regular testing.
Republican lawmakers and governors were quick to jump at the chance to criticize Biden, describing his decision as an unprecedented attack on personal freedoms and free enterprise.
But what do voters think? According to a new Axios poll, most American voters support the president’s vaccine mandates.
Read more below.
Support For Vaccine Mandates
Respondents were asked if they support Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal employees, and if they support the mandate that applies to any company that employs more than 100 people.
Eighty-four percent of Democrats and 61 percent of independent voters said they support requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated. A third of Republicans, 33 percent of them, agreed.
The response to the second question was nearly identical, with 84 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of independents, and 30 percent of Republicans saying they agree with requiring all workers at large private companies to be vaccinated.
It appears that the vaccine mandates will not harm Biden’s political standing. In fact, they could help the president increase support among some key voting blocs, according to President of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, Cliff Young.
"From a political perspective, he especially reinforces himself with independents," Young explained, noting that Biden has struggled with independents.
"The No. 1 issue for Biden has been COVID, and he’s been losing ground on it, especially among independents … it should stanch the bleeding… this is an initiative that could help bolster him there… he wins no points with Republicans. He wins a lot of points with Democrats, but they already support him."
A majority of urbanites and suburbanites in the poll said they support Biden’s mandates and testing requirements, but less than half of rural voters agreed.
Two-thirds of those 65 and older, as well as those under 30, expressed support for Biden’s policies, but more than half of those in between did not.
Overall, 19 percent of respondents in the poll said they would prioritize making COVID-19 vaccines available to people in developing countries, while 28 percent said they would prioritize booster shots for Americans and 38 percent said the government should focus on getting the unvaccinated vaccinated.
Republican voters appear to be far more vaccine hesitant than Democrats, and red states are handling the coronavirus pandemic much worse than blue states.
A recent Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI)/Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) poll found that nearly 40 percent of Republicans are still hesitant to get vaccinated, as reported by Forbes.
QAnon followers and Republicans who consume far-right media are far more likely than other conservatives to reject coronavirus vaccines, according to the survey, which also found that white evangelicals are fairly vaccine hesitant as well.