The White House is rallying its defenses as legal challenges mount to the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for large employers. New Morning Consult/Politico polling indicates that in the court of public opinion, at least, the jury is out on the mandate’s timeline.
What the numbers say:
- Voters did not come to a consensus on the Biden administration’s timeline for employers to vaccinate their workforces, with 1 in 3 saying the Jan. 4 deadline is just right, 7 percent saying it’s too soon and 13 percent saying it’s too late. Another 2 in 5 voters don’t think the mandate, which applies to private businesses with at least 100 workers, federal contractors and most health care workers, should be required at all.
- In a separate question, 55 percent of voters said they are in favor of requiring private employers to mandate vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing, a rule covering 84 million workers. Another 40 percent of voters oppose the rule and 5 percent said they don’t know or have no opinion. Democrats largely support the requirement, while Republicans largely oppose it.
- The findings come days after a federal appeals court temporarily blocked the vaccination rule from taking effect, though the Biden administration pushed back, arguing in a court filing that it is necessary to protect workers from the “grave danger” that is COVID-19. More than two dozen states have sued to strike down the requirement for private employers.
- The White House encouraged businesses to proceed with the rule despite the legal challenges, a position that’s squeaking by with voters: They’re more likely to think companies should support than oppose the vaccination mandate, 48 percent to 41 percent.
What the numbers say:
- Health officials have argued that the mandate will curb the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, and more than half of voters said they think it will reduce cases and boost vaccination rates. Fewer than half, meanwhile, said they think the rule will help the U.S. economy grow.
- At least 7 in 10 Democrats said the mandates will reduce COVID-19 cases, increase vaccination rates and help the economy grow. Meanwhile, at least 3 in 5 Republicans said the requirements won’t reduce cases or help the economy, though they were more split on whether vaccination rates will increase.
The poll was conducted Nov. 5-7, 2021, among 1,998 registered voters, with a margin of error of 2 percentage points.