YouGov made waves with their poll on this subject last Friday. Now here’s Pew confirming the topline finding: Yes indeed, youngsters are a bit more likely than older adults to say that parents, not the state, should have the final say over vaccinations. Not a result you’d expect from the age demographic which has the fewest percentage of parents in it, right?
But look more closely at the numbers. In YouGov’s poll, the split in support among young adults for state-imposed vaccine mandates and parental choice was 42/43. Every other age group saw at least 50 percent support for mandates. Contrast that with what Pew found:
Biiiiig difference among young adults, from -1 net opposition to mandates in YouGov’s poll to +18 net support here. Maybe YouGov had a bum result due to the comparatively small sample size. Or maybe young adults have shifted away from supporting mandates and towards letting parents decide over the past six months. Read the fine print above and you’ll see that Pew’s poll was taken last August while YouGov’s was taken this month. I … would not have predicted that young adults would become more pro-choice on vaccines with headlines blaring news about a measles outbreak at Disneyland gradually leaching into other states.
More from Pew:
In the Pew survey, strong majorities of Republicans (65%), Democrats (76%) and independents (65%) are in favor of requiring vaccinations.
But when it comes to parental discretion, about one-third of Republicans and independents say parents should make the decision about immunizations, compared with 22% of Democrats. In 2009, there was no such divide between Democrats and Republicans, according to Pew’s report.
Not surprising. Republicans have become more suspicious of big government, particularly health-care mandates, since Obama took office and hatched ObamaCare. Apparently that’s pushed a small but significant percentage of righties away from vaccine mandates and towards parental choice. What’s interesting is that being anti-mandate doesn’t seem to have made Republicans anti-vaccine: The hottest hotbeds of vaccine opposition are liberal communities. Anti-mandate Republicans are, it seems, still making sure their own kids get their shots. Anti-mandate liberals, not as much.
As for why young adults are more anti-mandate than the rest of the population, read Friday’s post for a few half-assed theories. YouGov has a new poll out today showing that the “choice” ethic that seems to guide youngsters on vaccines applies to other medical procedures too:
Meanwhile, Fusion has a poll of millennials out today in which it asked, “In general, do you see government as helpful or harmful?” Young adults split 57/18 in favor of helpful. Yay, government — except when it comes to guaranteeing herd immunity to protect immuno-compromised kids, I guess.
Via the Free Beacon, here’s Matt Lauer with Chuck Todd performing an unlikely reality check for the GOP’s benefit on the “Today” show this morning.