Fresh evidence that this isn’t a partisan issue despite the left-leaning media’s selfish, stupid, dangerous attempt to make it one. Here’s the response when YouGov asked whether the government should or shouldn’t require kids to be vaccinated against infectious diseases. How many hot-button issues nowadays draw supermajority support in both parties?
Among the five percent of Dems who don’t support state mandates: Barack Obama, apparently. If you’re a reporter looking to politicize the issue, you can take heart in the fact that GOPers are 14 points less likely to back compulsory vaccination than Democrats are. On the other hand, they’re eight points more likely to back it than independents. It may be that some small subset of indies, in rejecting the two major parties as part of a corrupt establishment, are more susceptible to anti-establishment theories on things like vaccination too.
There are actually quite a few groups that are less likely than Republicans to support mandates. Young adults, who tipped against mandates in another recent YouGov poll, are strongly in favor here at 62/24 — but a bit less so than the GOP is. (Slightly older adults in the 30-44 group are almost identical in their support at 62/23.) Either the earlier YouGov poll was an outlier or the burst of pro-vaccination media coverage lately has educated a lot of 18-29-year-olds quickly. Blacks, whose support for vaccines is usually comparable to whites’ in polling, are a bit less likely to support mandates here than Republicans are, splitting 62/16. (Given that most black voters are Democrats and overall Democratic support for vaccine mandates is much higher at 81 percent, white Democrats must be overwhelmingly in favor of mandates.) Interestingly, men split just 63/22 on mandates while women split 72/15. You can supply your own theory for that. Men lean a bit right while women (especially young women) lean left, so women are probably more comfortable with state mandates generally.
But here’s the showstopper in the YouGov poll:
Verrrry rarely do you find support for scientific consensus shrinking as you go up the income ladder, but here it is — a 15-point drop between people who make less than $100,000 a year and those who make more. That fits with reports that it’s actually well-heeled New Age lefty cranks in California’s wealthier neighborhoods who are responsible for the current outbreak. Do note, though, that the subsample for the $100K+ group is small and the numbers here are contradicted by the results in other measles-related questions in today’s poll. For instance, the $100K+ group is actually the most likely to say that unvaccinated kids should be banned from public schools. A group that’s sympathetic to defying government mandates on vaccines should presumably also be sympathetic to not ostracizing unvaccinated kids.
I’ll leave you with this excellent point from Sean Trende about the topline numbers:
@allahpundit bet if you take out the "government mandate" put in language about "pharmaceutical companies" those numbers flip.
— Sean T at RCP (@SeanTrende) February 4, 2015
Yep. Like I said yesterday, some sizable chunk of GOP resistance to compulsory vaccines is surely due to suspicion of government mandates generally, not suspicion of vaccines per se. Democrats don’t share that suspicion (especially when there’s a Democrat in the White House). Switch this question around, though, so that vaccines are being pushed not by the government but by — gasp — greedy corporations and you’ll find those lefty numbers shift.