In a new Iowa Poll published on Sunday, 41 percent of the respondents who identified themselves as Republicans said they have no intention of being vaccinated against COVID-19. Among those who said they voted for Donald Trump in November, the rate of vaccine rejection was even higher, with 45 percent saying they have no intention of getting vaccinated.
The results for self-described Democrats in the new poll were very different. Only 8 percent said they won’t be vaccinated, and among people who say they voted for Joe Biden, that number drops to 6 percent.
Thirty percent of respondents who called themselves independents when asked about party affiliation said they don’t intend to receive the vaccine.
Overall, the poll conducted by Selzer & Co. for the Des Moines Register and Media.com found that 67 percent of respondents had either already received at least one dose of vaccine or planned to be vaccinated, while 27 percent said they plan not be vaccinated. Five percent told pollsters they were uncertain of what they will do.
The political divide over COVID-19 vaccinations in the Iowa Poll matches a recent nationwide poll conducted by Marist College with NPR and PBS NewsHour. In that poll, 47 percent of respondents who said they voted for Trump said they would not be vaccinated.
The Marist poll was just the latest in a series of nationwide polls to find that Republicans — particularly Republican men — are the group most resistant to being vaccinated for COVID-19.
The published results of the new Iowa Poll did not break down response by gender among political groups, but did show that, overall, men are more likely to decline vaccine than women. Thirty-three percent of men said they won’t be vaccinated, while only 22 percent of women told pollsters that.
Public health experts say a major contributor to the political divide on COVID-19 vaccinations is that Republican political leaders haven’t been advocating strongly for everyone eligible to get vaccinated.
During her March 17 news conference, Gov. Reynolds was asked about the connection between political affiliation and vaccine rejection, and what she would tell people regarding vaccination.
“I think it’s the right thing to do for the greater good,” Reynolds said. “It’s a personal decision, individuals will make that.”
The governor, along with her husband, received the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine during her news conference on March 3. Reynolds said she wanted her vaccination to be livestreamed and shown on television to help inspire confidence in the process.
The new Iowa Poll was conducted the week following Reynolds’ vaccination. Pollsters conducted telephone interviews with 775 Iowa adults between March 7-10. According to Seltzer & Co., the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.