Nearly two-thirds of Republicans oppose Biden's door-to-door vaccine push: Poll


The majority of voters support President Biden’s plan to send vaccine promoters “door to door” but nearly two-thirds of Republicans oppose the plan, underscoring a partisan divide over federal efforts to push the shots as the fast-moving delta variant latches onto unvaccinated persons.

A Morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday says 54% of voters support the door-to-door idea and 39% oppose it. But 65% of Republicans oppose the plan, while eight in 10 Democrats support it. Among independents, 47% support it, 47% and 42% oppose it.

The polling divide reflects the debate that erupted after President Biden announced he would push for workplace vaccine clinics and send local partners into neighborhoods to increase uptake. Slightly less than half of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated and there have been alarming outbreaks driven by the delta variant first detected in India.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster directed his team to prevent door-knocking and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he feared the door-knockers would include federal agents, prompting a rebuke from the White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the effort involves community leaders and ignorance around the vaccines is “literally killing people.”

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found relatively similar uptake in April between counties that voted for Mr. Biden versus those who backed former President Donald Trump, but the gap has widened. Roughly 47% of residents in Biden counties are vaccinated versus 35% in Trump counties.

Hospitalizations are rising in rural, conservative areas like southwestern Missouri, where one major hospital needed to borrow ventilators from other parts of the state.

Frank Luntz, a political consultant and pollster, finds conservative skepticism of the vaccine frustrating given the plaudits Mr. Trump received for overseeing their speedy development last year.

“The people who are telling you not to get vaccinated now were praising Donald Trump 8 months ago for getting the vaccine to the public in record time,” Mr.  Luntz tweeted.

Fears of the delta strain’s spread aren’t limited to red areas.

The delta variant is being blamed for rising case counts in New York City, though officials doubt there will be a repeat of last year’s crisis, since 64% of city adults are fully vaccinated.

Parts of Miami have reported an uptick in hospitalizations among younger adults who’ve failed to get vaccinated but are mingling in society as if they were.

Officials are also worried about children. Those younger than 12 aren’t eligible for the shots yet, so the federal and state officials want more adults and teens to get the shots to reduce transmission and protect them from aggressive strains.

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