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Polls Say Pro-Virus Dickishness Not Big Selling Point Outside GOP Circles
Who'd have thought!
Republican dickhole governors like Florida's Ron DeSantis and Texas's Greg Abbott seem pretty sure the way to success in the 2024 Republican presidential primaries is to demonstrate just how much they hate public health, primarily by banning mask mandates by local governments and school districts, even if they have to threaten to withhold funding from schools to force them to comply. New polling from Axios and Ipsos suggests that while that approach may work pretty well with the GOP base, it's not at all what most Americans want, no not at all.
In fact, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, measures to protect public health are broadly supported by most Americans, even as they're less popular with GOP voters. The most recent Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index found that roughly two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) support state and local requirements to mask up indoors to prevent the spread of the virus. Perversely, though, there are very sharp partisan and regional divides in such support,
with the vast majority of Democrats (88%) and less than half of Republicans (40%) in favor of state or local mask mandates.
Support for state and local mask requirements also varies based on where people live, with those living in urban areas (71%) being more supportive than those who live in rural areas (49%).
That doesn't sound like a hell of a formula for winning a national election: To appeal to GOP voters, candidates will need to run against protecting public health from the virus, but if that's what gets them nominated, they may have a hell of a time winning support from the general public. Thank goodness!
Public support for masks in schools is even stronger with 69 percent of respondents saying they support local school districts requiring students, teachers, and staff to wear face masks. There's no real difference on that question between parents (68 percent) and people without kids (70 percent), either.
Again there's a clear partisan split:
Democratic support for school mask mandates is near universal (92%), while only two in five (44%) Republicans support school districts requiring masks.
But when it comes to policies like those in Texas, Florida, and too many other Republican-led states, Americans don't hear "Liberty!" and Paul Revere ringin' those bells and firin' those guns; they seem more worried about ventilators and codes blue in the ICU. Only a third of Americans support bans on local mask mandates, with 66 percent opposed. Again, the idea is only popular with Republicans, 57 percent of whom support mask mandate bans, while only 16 percent of Democrats do.
And if you're talking about punishing school districts that defy governors and put mask orders in place, you're really not going to win a lot of love: More that three-quarters of those polled oppose the idea of states withholding funds from schools or local governments that require masking.
The percentage of people inclined to answer "are you out of your fucking mind?" was not included in this version of the poll, but probably should be, next time around.
The Washington Post's Greg Sargent says the Axios/Ipsos survey might indicate the start of a backlash against ridiculous whiny immature loser assholes like Abbott and DeSantis, who recently called measures to prevent the spread of a deadly disease "the most significant threat to freedom in my lifetime, certainly since the fall of the Berlin Wall." Weirdly, such hyperbole doesn't seem to get a lot of traction outside the GOP faithful.
"Americans think masks are useful and good in the fight against covid," Chris Jackson, the head of public polling at Ipsos, tells me. The data, Jackson adds, indicates that majorities believe governors blocking mask mandates "are essentially taking away a useful tool for Americans to get back to their lives."
"There is a strong predisposition in this country toward doing something proactiveto stop the pandemic," Jackson says.
In fact, Jackson told Sargent that bans on mask mandates aren't even very popular with Donald Trump's beloved poorly educated people, either:
Ipsos tells me that large majorities of non-college-educated Whites — a demographic that is supposed to thrill to Trumpian cultural warmongering — oppose gubernatorial prohibitions against local mask mandates and the cutting of school funding as retaliation. Those numbers are 58 percent and 75 percent respectively.
Democrats, Sargent says, might do well to start playing up their advantageous position in this dumb culture war, by reminding Americans that it's Republicans who are most opposed to measures like masking and vaccinations that could finally start returning the country to normal.
Hell, we've been saying that for months!
Anyway, OPEN THREAD.