Colorado poll finds large differences among political parties in who wants to get vaccinated

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DENVER – As Colorado continues to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine and with nearly 6,000 people dead in the state because of the virus, a newly released poll found just around 1 in 3 Colorado Republicans plan to get vaccinated when doses become available to them.

The survey, which was conducted by Louisville-based Magellan Strategies, involved an online survey of 769 registered voters in Colorado polled from Feb. 9-17, with a ±3.53% margin of error.

But the question about whether or not a person would get the vaccine when it becomes available was posed to 420 of those respondents who had not yet been vaccinated, and the results carry a ±4.78% margin of error.

MORE: When and where can you get the COVID-19 vaccine? Here are answers to your vaccine-related questions

The survey was weighted to the demographics of registered voters in Colorado, the firm said.

In total, 55% of the people asked whether they planned on getting vaccinated said they would, 34% said they would not and 9% of respondents said they were not sure.

But the party split was notable: Eighty-eight percent of Democrats said they planned to get vaccinated, compared to 57% of unaffiliated voters and just 29% of Republicans who were polled.

Rural voters (23% yes) and Trump voters (24% yes) said they were much less likely to get vaccinated in comparison to suburban women (61% yes) and four-year college voters (68% yes).

The poll also asked people – identified only by their location, sex, generation and voter registration – why they would not get vaccinated or were hesitant to do so.

Those answers showed the perceptions of some people not only in Colorado, but across the state, that local and state officials have tried to combat as disinformation is spread about alleged dangers of the vaccines and virus – all of which currently in use have received approval and an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Real scientists and doctors have concerns the vaccines were not properly tested for safety and effectiveness. Too many side effects and deaths have been reported,” said a woman from the Silent Generation who is a rural Republican.

“Untested. Alters DNA. NOT NEEDED. Current recovery percentage from COVID is 98% without vaccine,” said a male Baby Boomer who is an urban Republican.

The concerns and hesitancy were not limited to Republicans, however.

“I have made an appointment to have the vaccine administered, but am unsure as to whether it is safe for me to do so,” said a Democratic female Baby Boomer who lives in a small town.

“I am healthy, probably better to give it to people who need it,” said an unaffiliated suburban male Millennial.

But the party-line splits seen in the question about whether a person would be getting vaccinated extended to other questions concerning the coronavirus and vaccines as well.

Of the full group that was polled, 60% of respondents said they were either very or somewhat concerned someone in their family would be infected with the coronavirus, compared to 39% who said they were either “not too concerned” or “not concerned at all.” But 89% of Democrats said they were concerned, compared to 32% of Republicans.

Majorities of those polled approved of the local, county and state response to the coronavirus. Fifty-three percent of respondents approved of the Biden administration’s response, compared to 39% who said they approved of the Trump administration’s efforts.

The biggest priorities for the people polled were creating jobs and improving the economy, the vaccine rollout and the coronavirus response, but the top priorities differed by generation and by political affiliation – with Democrats saying the vaccine rollout and addressing the coronavirus were the top issues, compared to most Republicans saying jobs and the economy and reopening businesses were the top priorities.

One point the people polled did generally agree on was that the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health.

Sixty-six percent of respondents agreed that the virus had had negative effects on their mental health – with 23% saying it has had a “very negative impact,” compared to 34% who said it has not.

The poll was not funded by any outside individuals or organizations, Magellan said. The survey of Colorado voter opinions was the first of two parts – the second of which will be released in coming weeks.