Poll shows partisan divide over vaccinations, but some say it’s not that simple in Hawaii

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 9:51 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 10:18 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new AP-NORC Poll indicates that there’s a political divide over COVID vaccinations, but some maintain its more of a personal choice.

The national poll showed that Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they’re at least somewhat concerned about someone close to them being infected, by a 70% to 38% margin.

And overall, 43% of Republicans say they have not been vaccinated and definitely won’t be, compared to just 10% of Democrats.

“This of course is unfortunate, but it’s what we’d seen with every issue in U.S. politics now, that everything is polarized, everything has become partisan,” said HNN political analyst Colin Moore.

Moore was not surprised by the results.

“We know that Democrats are much more likely to get a vaccine than Republicans,” he said. “Republicans are much more suspicious of the vaccination, and so you see, for example, red states having much lower levels of vaccination than blue states.”

The Aloha Freedom Coalition, which has held rallies that draw people opposed to the vaccinations, contends that the issue is a personal one, not politically-motivated.

“I think if there’s anything reflected in the poll, it has more to do with people’s own self-government and value of liberty versus, oh, I’m a Republican and therefore I don’t believe, or I’m a Democrat and I do believe. I don’t think that’s the case,” said coalition president, Gary Cordery.

“I got vaccinated. My wife’s been vaccinated, my whole family. I think all my colleagues have been vaccinated. We think it’s the smart thing to do. Now we’re not forcing people to get it,” said longtime Ewa Beach GOP state Rep. Bob McDermott.

While McDermott also deflected any political attachment to getting shots in arms, he said fallout from the last presidential race has had an effect.

“When Biden and Harris ran, they said if (President) Trump developed the vaccine, I wouldn’t trust it. Well, they did under his watch, and now they’re trying to get people to take the vaccination, so that’s kind of a dichotomy,” McDermott said.

Just this week, prominent national Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise have promoted vaccinations, but Moore said the tide won’t change overnight.

“It’s going to take some time, and you really need some really prominent Republicans, like former president Trump, to reach out if there’s really going to be a difference.”

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