This reaffirms a long-standing belief in political science, Professor Klar said: “When an issue becomes really threatening and really important to you, partisanship weakens the grip on your decision-making.”
In any case, it’s a fairly comforting thought.
“There is often so much focus on people whose partiality seems to outweigh their concern, even for their own health, or caring for others,” said Professor Krupnikov. “But I think it’s important to emphasize that, at least in our data, there are a lot of people for whom politics was, in fact, hugely secondary to the health crisis that was happening around them.”
So what now?
What this means practically for the future of the pandemic is less clear, especially since we haven’t conducted many reliable polls since the Delta wave spiraled out of control.
The limited poll we have shows that a majority of Americans are concerned about the Delta variant and support the CDC recommendation that people wear masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status — and that pattern is true in all regions, including the South. said Mary Snow, a poll analyst at Quinnipiac University. But there are still deep partisan divisions in that data.
President Biden’s approval rating also appears to have suffered some damage, but that may not be because of the surge itself. Rather, it may be “because we were told we were out of the woods at the beginning of summer, and we didn’t,” said Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “And that’s as much a reflection of messages as anything else: ‘Why did you tell us you had this under control when you weren’t?'”
Ultimately, especially in light of such a contagious strain, it takes only a small minority of Americans to derail epidemiological progress — and the most partisan Republicans take their cues from leaders who have no political incentive to kill others. to give.
In a state like Mississippi, the governor has more to fear politically from a far-right primary challenger than a Democrat in a general election, Professor Wronski noted.