RALEIGH — A new Rasmussen poll finds that a majority of likely Democratic voters favor taking strong action against Americans who are not vaccinated against COVID-19, including fines and home confinement.
Forty-eight percent of Democrats also would give the green light to government fines or imprisonment for those who question the efficacy of the vaccine on social media or other public forums. Forty-five percent of Democrats gave a thumbs up to forcing the unvaccinated into temporary designated areas, while 46% support using digital devices to track the unvaccinated to ensure they are quarantined or properly socially distanced from others.
A smaller number of Democrats (29%) would go so far as to temporarily remove parents’ custody of their children if the parents refused to take the vaccine.
The poll, commissioned by the Heartland Institute, was released the same day the U.S. Supreme Court handed the Biden administration a stinging blow in blocking its employer COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate. The results put Democratic support for the vaccine mandate at 78%, compared to support levels of 22% among Republicans and 41% among unaffiliated voters.
Overall, the survey revealed a wide gulf between Democrats’ attitudes on vaccine enforcement and the approach of Republican and unaffiliated voters.
A small percentage of Republican voters expressed support for criminal penalties for vaccine critics (14%), designated areas for the unvaccinated (14%), or removal of children from unvaccinated homes (7%). But in another indication of a swing by unaffiliated voters away from the Biden administration and Democrats, a similarly small number of unaffiliated voters supported such measures — 18% for criminal penalties, 20% for designated areas, and 11% for the removal of children.
Asked their opinion of the federal government’s top COVID-19 expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, 75% of likely Democratic voters had a favorable view, compared to only 21% of Republicans and 38% of unaffiliated voters.
“After two excruciatingly long years, likely voters are beginning to question the federal government’s handling of the pandemic,” said Heartland Institute senior editor and research fellow Chris Talgo. “
The survey of 1,016 likely U.S. voters was conducted Jan. 5.