An ARRP poll released yesterday had some interesting data for hotly contested campaigns for both U.S. Senate and U.S. President. According to the pollsters, Donald Trump enjoys a seven-point lead over Joe Biden in the Big Sky State. If it’s to be believed, that’s down dramatically from Trump’s twenty-point lead in 2016. Senator Steve Daines is ahead of Governor Steve Bullock for the U.S. Senate spot by three points, which is the poll’s margin of error.
But what was particularly enlightening about the AARP polling data was the information revealed about the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine and the likelihood of Montanans to take the hypothetical drug cocktail. Democrats are more than twice as likely to stand in line for the vaccine than Republicans, who only a minority said they would be open to receiving it.
Split down the middle, 51% of Montana voters say they would reject the COVID-19 vaccine if it were ever released. Another 43% said they would take it, with 6% unsure. However, what was striking was the partisan divide on the subject.
A large 61% percent of Democrats surveyed said they would get vaccinated upon its release. This was twice the figure for Republicans, of whom only 30% said they would take the vaccine. This finding by AARP is in line with other national polls that show Republicans are three times as skeptical of vaccines as Democrats, going as far back as May.
Lee Banville, a professor in the University of Montana School of Journalism, said that the difference was likely due to one of trust in government. He said, “I think it’s about trust in government and just fear that this is going too fast.”
The AARP poll shows that Montanans are overall less likely to take a COVID-19 vaccine than the nationwide average. Whereas 51% in Montana say they would reject the vaccine, a recent Gallop poll shows that the nationwide average is roughly 33% who would reject the vaccine. Montanans seem to trust vaccines a little less than the typical American.