New poll confirms wide Virginia political divide on face masks

New poll confirms wide Virginia political divide on face masks

A new statewide poll shows how much Democrats in Virginia far more favor wearing face masks than Republicans, whether it’s in stores, restaurants, or outdoor public places. And in each of the 13 places presented, those identifying as Democrats said they were about 30 to 40% more likely to wear a mask than Republicans. As examples,  90% of those surveyed identifying as Democrats say they are likely to wear masks inside grocery stores, compared to 52% of Republicans. When it comes to outdoor parks and beaches, 47% of Democrats say they will likely wear masks compared to 19% of Republicans. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

12-03 Mask Poll Wrap-WEB

ROANOKE COLLEGE NEWS RELEASE: To measure how Virginia feels about vaccination and mask-wearing, along with exploring political anxiety, The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research interviewed 634 adult residents of Virginia between Nov. 7 and Nov. 15 in a survey addressing these topics. The survey has a margin of error of +4.4%.

COVID Vaccination

The percentage of adult Virginians who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or are awaiting their second dose remains near 78%, while just 2% say they plan to start vaccination soon, according to the latest Roanoke College Poll. These numbers remain unchanged from similar results in September (82% fully or partially vaccinated and 3% plan to start soon) when both polls’ margins of error are considered. The percentage of adults who state they do not plan to get vaccinated (13% now, 11% in September) also remains essentially constant.

Among those adults fully vaccinated, 24% have received a third dose or booster shot, another 51% plan to get another shot when they’re able, and 22% do not plan to receive another dose.

Both vaccination results differ greatly when political party is considered. Democrats report full or partial vaccination at 90% with just 3% not planning to get a shot; for Republicans, those numbers are 67% and 24%. Regarding booster shots, 81% of Democrats have or plan to get an additional dose of vaccine with only 18% not planning to do so. Republicans have a lower rate of booster dose interest (67%) and increased rate of reporting no plans to receive an additional shot (37%.)

Mask Wearing

Roanoke College Poll also asked Virginians about their likelihood of wearing a mask in various scenarios. Roughly 72% of Virginians are very or somewhat likely to wear a mask in many indoor scenarios (grocery stores, indoor retail stores, working near others, and attending an indoor art, entertainment or music venue.) Outdoor retail establishments or art/entertainment venues result in about 51% of residents likely to wear a mask. Restaurants and bars see lower amounts of mask wearing, whether they are indoor (57% likely) or outdoor (39% likely).

With the Thanksgiving holiday just passed and the winter holiday season upon us, only 33% of Virginians report wearing a mask while visiting with family and friends in their houses. By party, almost half (45%) of Democrats wear masks while visiting family and friends, while about one-sixth (17%) of Republicans do so.

That political party divide on mask wearing exists across all scenarios presented to the respondents, such as grocery stores (90% Democrats likely compared to 52% of Republicans), at work (88% compared to 54%), dining inside (76% compared to 35%), and hair salons/barbershops (79% compared to 43%.)

CLICK HERE for full poll results and methodology.

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