HomeHealth Care NewsHeartland/Rasmussen Poll: Democrats Still Support Draconian COVID Measures

Heartland/Rasmussen Poll: Democrats Still Support Draconian COVID Measures

Key takeaways:
  • 59% of Democrats support government forcing Americans to remain confined in their homes if they refuse the COVID vaccine
  • 78% of Democrats support President Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees
  • 55% of Democrats support fining Americans who don’t get the jab
  • 48% of Democrats say the government should fine or imprison Americans who publicly question the efficacy of COVID vaccines
  • 47% of Democrats support the government tracking the unvaccinated to ensure they are quarantined or socially distant
  • More than one-quarter of Democrats say parents should lose custody of their children if they refuse the COVID vaccine

Democrats are much more likely than those not in the party to support government restricting and tracking the movement of those who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine, silencing any speech that questions the efficacy of the vaccine, and punishing the unvaccinated with fines and imprisonment.

A new poll by The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports found a deep partisan divide on COVID-19 policy in America. The survey of 1,016 likely voters, completed on January 5, 2022, found that 59% of Democrats support government forcing Americans to remain confined in their homes if they refuse the COVID vaccine. Only 17% of Republicans supported that idea with 79% opposed.

See the poll questions and the crosstabs here.

An overwhelming majority of Democrats (78%) support President Biden’s vaccine mandate for private businesses with more than 100 employees, which stands before the U.S. Supreme Court. A majority of Democrats say Americans who don’t get COVID-19 vaccines should be subject to fines (55%). Only 34% of all likely voters surveyed agreed.

A plurality of Democrats said governments should “fine or imprison individuals who publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines” (48%), and support forcing unvaccinated American citizens “to use a smart phone app or wearable device that tracks unvaccinated people to ensure that they are quarantined or socially distancing from others.” Only 27% of likely voters overall agreed with punishing vaccine skeptics, and only 28% overall supported tracking the unvaccinated.

Though not near a majority, or even a plurality, the highest category of respondents who “strongly support” or “somewhat support” a proposal to “temporarily remove parents’ custody of their children if parents refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine” were Democrats (29%). Republicans opposed that idea 90% to 7%.

As for Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has controlled COVID-19 policy in America since the Trump administration, the poll of likely voters found an almost even split with 45% having either a very or somewhat favorable impression and 48% a somewhat or very unfavorable impression. However, three-fourths of Democrats and self-identified liberals approve of Dr. Fauci while more than two-thirds of Republicans and self-identified conservatives disapprove.

“After two excruciatingly long years, likely voters are beginning to question the federal government’s handling of the pandemic,” said Chris Talgo, senior editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute, which commissioned this poll. “First and foremost, likely voters are beginning to sour on Dr. Anthony Fauci, who seems to have lost credibility after countless flip-flops.

“Moreover, almost half of likely voters oppose President Biden’s vaccine mandates, which seem less about stopping the spread of COVID-19 and more about increasing the power of the federal government,” Talgo said. “When asked about several other potential strategies, such as fining those who refuse to get vaccinated, the consensus among likely voters is that the federal government should do less, not more.”

 

National Survey of 1,016 Likely Voters on COVID-19 Policies

Conducted January 5, 2022 by The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports

Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Dr. Anthony Fauci?

28% – very favorable

17% – somewhat favorable

14% – somewhat unfavorable

34% – very unfavorable

8% – you are not sure

INTERESTING CROSSTAB: Some of Fauci’s highest approval ratings came from Democrats (75%) and Blacks (58%), and more people between the ages of 18-39 (47%) approved of him than those over 65 (44%). Only 38% of Independents had a favorable impression of Fauci.

 

Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose President Biden’s plan to impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on the employees of large companies and government agencies?

33% – strongly favor

15% – somewhat favor

8% – somewhat oppose

40% – strongly oppose

4% – not sure

INTERESTING CROSSTAB: 58% of those between the ages of 18-39 strongly or somewhat support this policy, while fully half of people 40-64 strongly oppose it.

 

Would you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposal for federal or state governments to fine Americans who choose not to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

21% – strongly favor

13% – somewhat favor

14% – somewhat oppose

44% – strongly oppose

8% – not sure

INTERESTING CROSSTAB: 53% of self-identified liberals favor this policy, while 72% of conservatives oppose it. Older voters are strongly against while voters under 40 were most-likely to approve (45%).

 

Would you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposal to limit the spread of the coronavirus by having federal or state governments require that citizens remain confined to their homes at all times, except for emergencies, if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

18% – strongly favor

16% – somewhat favor

14% – somewhat oppose

47% – strongly oppose

5% – not sure

INTERESTING CROSSTAB: Half of all Black voters and 58% of voters who identified themselves as liberals favored this policy. Nearly half (48%) of voters under 40 favored it.

 

Would you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposal to limit the spread of the coronavirus by having federal or state governments require that citizens temporarily live in designated facilities or locations if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

13% – strongly favor

13% – somewhat favor

13% – somewhat oppose

58% – strongly oppose

3% – not sure

INTERESTING CROSSTAB: The breakdown of “strongly oppose” was conservatives (78%), moderates (71%), and liberals (36%).

 

Would you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposal for federal or state governments to fine or imprison individuals who publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines on social media, television, radio, or in online or digital publications?

13% – strongly favor

14% – somewhat favor

14% – somewhat oppose

53% – strongly oppose

6% – not sure

INTERESTING CROSSTAB: Younger voters between the ages of 18-40 were the most likely to support fining or imprisoning those who express doubts about the COVID vaccines (39%).

 

Would you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposal for federal or state governments to require unvaccinated citizens to use a smart phone app or wearable device that tracks unvaccinated people to ensure that they are quarantined or socially distancing from others?

13% – strongly favor

15% – somewhat favor

11% – somewhat oppose

55% – strongly oppose

5% – not sure

INTERESTING CROSSTAB: More than half of younger voters (53%) support government tracking apps. A strong majority of moderates (70%) were opposed.

 

Would you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposal to temporarily remove parents’ custody of their children if parents refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine?

9% – strongly favor

7% – somewhat favor

13% – somewhat oppose

67% – strongly oppose

4% – not sure

INTERESTING CROSSTAB: This was a very unpopular policy idea, but the largest demographics in support of government removing children from unvaccinated parents were voters between the ages of 18-39 (31%), Democrats (29%), and liberals, Blacks, and Hispanics (24%). Only 13% of white voters favored it.

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

Jim Lakely
Jim Lakely
Jim Lakely is the Vice President and Director of Communications of The Heartland Institute. Prior to joining Heartland in 2008, Lakely spent 16 years in daily-deadline journalism.

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