By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
I wrote yesterday about a new Pew poll showing that Americans are evenly divided (47 percent to 47 percent) about whether they would get the H1N1 vaccine. But there was one other data tidbit from the poll that was so striking that I thought it merits its own blog post. According to Pew, there is a partisan split on the vaccine. To wit, 60 percent of Democratic respondents said that they would get the vaccine and 34 percent said they would not. Conversely, only 41 percent of Republicans said they would take the vaccine while 54 percent said that they would not. (Warning for Democrats: Independents have the same 41-54 split.)
Perhaps not surprisingly, Democrats and Republicans also had starkly different views of how the press is handling the H1N1 story: 53 percent of Democrats think the media has presented the story "about right," while 35 percent think the danger has been overstated. The numbers are practically flipped for Republicans, with 41 percent thinking the media's gotten it right and 54 percent saying the danger was overstated. (Independents are OK with the media's handling of the story by a 44-42 edge, and overall respondents think the press has done a good job by 46-43 percent.)
That said there's room here for sociological discussion of the GOP as anti-intellectual/anti-science/anti-government—the party of truthiness. Add this one to the anecdote pile.