How partisanship affects pandemic thinking

This confirms a longstanding belief of political science, Professor Klar said: “When an issue becomes really dangerous and really important to you, partisanship weakens its grip on your decision-making. “

This is, at least, a moderately reassuring thought.

Professor Krupnikov said, “So much is often focused on those whose biases outweigh their care for their own health, or even those of others.” “But I think it’s important to highlight that at least in our data, there are many people for whom politics was very secondary to the health crisis actually happening around them.”

What this means practically for the future of the pandemic is less clear, especially because we don’t have very reliable polling as delta growth spiraled out of control.

The limited polling we have shows that most Americans are concerned about the delta variant and support the CDC’s recommendation that people wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status – and this pattern continues in regions including the South. That is, said Mary Snow, a polling analyst at Quinnipiac University. But there are still deeply partisan divisions in that data.

President Biden’s approval ratings seem to have done some damage as well, but that may not be because of the boom itself. Instead, it may be “because we were told we were out in the woods at the beginning of the summer, and that hasn’t happened,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “And it’s a reflection of the messaging as much as anything else: ‘Why did you tell us you had it under control when you didn’t?

Ultimately, especially in the face of such a contagious form, it only takes a small minority of Americans to derail epidemiological progress—and most partisan Republicans are taking their cue from leaders who have There is no political incentive to give differently.

In a state like Mississippi, the governor has to fear politically more of a far-right primary challenger than a Democrat in the general election, Professor Vronsky said.

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