Nearly three-quarters of Democrats want mask mandates to remain in place, a Rasmussen Reports survey released Wednesday found.
The survey asked respondents, “Should people be required to wear masks in public places to prevent the spread of COVID-19?”
Less than a majority, 49 percent overall, said “yes” compared to 42 percent who said “no” and nine percent who remain unsure. However, opinions are sharply divided on party lines.
A majority of Republicans and a plurality of independents, 62 percent and 47 percent, respectively, say people should not be required to wear masks in public places. Seventy-four percent of Democrats, however, said they should. Most Democrats, 72 percent, also believe schools should require children to remain masked, compared to 31 percent of Republicans and 40 percent of independents who share that sentiment. Fifty percent of independents say schools should not force children to mask up, and 63 percent of Republicans hold that stance as well.
— Rasmussen Reports (@Rasmussen_Poll) February 16, 2022
The survey also asked respondents, “Would you be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported COVID-19 mask requirements or a candidate who opposed mask requirements? Or would it not make much difference?”
A plurality, 43 percent, said they would be more likely to support a candidate who supported mask requirements, but once again, opinions are sharply divided on party lines:
Again, the party divisions are apparent, with 69% of Democrats saying they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported COVID-19 mask requirements, but only 26% of Republicans and 33% of unaffiliated voters agree. Forty-nine percent (49%) of Republicans, 39% of unaffiliated voters and 18% of Democrats would be more likely to vote for a candidate who opposed COVID-19 mask requirements.
The survey comes as several blue state leaders announce plans to lift remaining mask restrictions in their respective states, including on schoolchildren. However, some conservatives have pointed out that the science has not changed, suggesting they are simply removing restrictions because they are gearing up for the midterm elections and know President Biden has lost support on his handling of the pandemic.
“Thankfully, the tide has begun to turn,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said during a Senate speech last week. “Sometimes I hear the phrase, the science changed. The science hasn’t changed. What’s changed is that there’s an election coming, and Democrats have seen the polling on this question.”
“Now they are running scared and they want to pretend that they didn’t force your kid to wear a mask for two years. You see it in states that are run entirely by Democrats — California, New Jersey, New York. The president’s own Delaware,” he added.
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