If an FDA-approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19 were available today at no cost, less than half of registered voters in Maryland say they would get it, according to the latest Goucher College poll.
A slim majority of Democrats say they would get the vaccine, while slim majorities of Republicans and unaffiliated voters say they would not.
The poll shows widespread agreement that individuals’ actions, such as wearing masks and social distancing, can prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However, Republicans and Democrats are split over whether the worst of the pandemic is yet to come — Republicans and unaffiliated voters say the worst is behind us.
“Individuals are more likely to believe messages that come out from politicians who share their party affiliation,” said Mileah Kromer, who oversees the poll as director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College.
Kromer pointed to comments by President Donald Trump, who has strong support among Maryland Republicans.
“The president, I think, has been consistently pushing a message that we’ve gotten through COVID, that it’s not as bad as Democrats want you to believe,” Kromer said. “So it’s not surprising that you see this divide, I think, happening between Democrats who have certainly been more cautious and less optimistic, I think, about the coronavirus and their Republican counterparts.”
Republicans are also less worried than Democrats about themselves or their family getting infected.
On the other hand, the vast majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents say they approve of how Gov. Larry Hogan has handled the pandemic.
More than half of those polled — 58% — say the state has eased COVID-related restrictions on businesses at the right pace. About a third of Republicans say the state has lifted restrictions too slowly, while a third of Democrats say the state has lifted restrictions too quickly.