Fresh Navigator Research polling out this week serves as a reminder that the American public still largely supports the efforts of President Joe Biden and Democrats to quash the coronavirus. Among other indicators, Biden's approvals on the pandemic are above water at 51%-46%, far higher than his overall job approvals, which are stuck underwater in the Navigator survey at 45%-51%.
But perhaps most important from a midterm messaging standpoint is the fact that voters' views on GOP pandemic policies are absolutely dismal. And as we head into next year, providing the public with a steady stream of reminders about how radically out of touch GOP lawmakers have gotten is a survival must for Democrats next November.
First up: Banning school mask mandates, the bandwagon so many GOP governors have hopped on, is very unpopular—drawing 58% opposition from registered voters with only 37% support. Those opposed include 79% of Democrats, 51% of independents, and even 35% of Republicans.
The survey also tested a series of attacks on Republican policies that polled very well with voters:
Republicans have said they want more people to get coronavirus to achieve natural immunity instead of getting vaccinated, regardless of consequences, even though getting vaccinated makes people 14 times less likely to die of coronavirus compared to the unvaccinated. The Republicans' plan puts lives at risk for no reason when we have a vaccine
- Polling: 69% found that very/somewhat concerning, 31% were not concerned. Among those concerned were 92% of Democrats, 66% of independents, and 43% of Republicans.
Republicans refuse to listen to scientists and public health experts. Instead, they continue to spread misinformation about mask wearing and the vaccine, making it harder for us to fight the virus and prolonging the pandemic
- Polling: 66% found that very/somewhat concerning, 34% were not concerned. Among those concerned were 92% of Democrats, 63% of independents, and 36% of Republicans.
Republicans are prolonging the pandemic and hurting the economy by fighting against common sense solutions like masks and vaccines. The longer the pandemic lasts, the longer our small businesses and communities will suffer
- Polling: 66% found that very/somewhat concerning, 34% were not concerned. Among those concerned were 91% of Democrats, 62% of independents, and 39% of Republicans.
Unvaccinated Americans put everyone at risk of getting coronavirus, and Republicans are supporting those who choose to not get vaccinated through financial incentives and the spread of misinformation, endangering all Americans in doing so
- Polling: 64% found that very/somewhat concerning, 36% were not concerned. Among those concerned were 88% of Democrats, 54% of independents, and 38% of Republicans.
Emphasizing the GOP's unpopular pandemic policies will encourage voters to see 2022 as a choice between what they have now (Democrats in charge) and what they could have (Republicans in charge).
If voters see the midterms as a choice, Democratic policies on the pandemic will compare very favorably. Here’s a glimpse of how voters view Democratic policies:
- 66% of voters approve of how the vaccine rollout has gone so far.
- 64% of voters identify as pro-mask (including 87% of Democrats and 55% of independents) with just 28% being anti-mask.
- 66% support indoor mask mandates when local cases are high, while 29% oppose it.
- 66% favor mask requirements in schools, with just 30% opposed.
- 54% of voters favor vaccine mandates, while 42% oppose them.