Idahoans have a lax view toward COVID-19, according to a new survey.
Forty-five percent of Idahoans surveyed by Boise State University said that to have no COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirement for large businesses, organizations and public events is the most sensible protocol to protect people’s health while allowing for personal freedom.
Twenty-nine percent said a choice between proof of vaccination and regular testing is most sensible. Twenty percent said vaccination should be required for everyone without a medical or religious exemption.
The university’s seventh annual Idaho Public Policy Survey was conducted from Nov. 13-21, and 1,000 Idahoans were surveyed.
Republicans and Democrats mostly disagreed on vaccination mandates. Of the 1,000 people polled, 39% identified themselves as Republicans or strong Republicans, and 14% as Democrats or strong Democrats.
Sixty-three percent of Republicans supported no COVID-19 vaccine or testing requirements, while just 13% of Democrats did.
Twenty percent of Republicans preferred a choice between the vaccine and regular testing, while 11% of Republicans thought a vaccine requirement would be best.
Forty-six percent of Democrats supported vaccine requirements, while 37% of Democrats supported a choice between a vaccine and regular testing.
Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little has encouraged Idahoans to get vaccinated but has stopped short of making it a requirement. He has criticized President Joe Biden for attempting to require employees of large companies to get vaccinated. The city of Boise has required some city employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
The release of the survey results coincided with another spike in COVID-19 cases throughout Idaho at a time when vaccines remain a crucial part of combating the virus.
When asked if they would recommend the COVID-19 vaccine, 51% of respondents said they would and 26% said they wouldn’t. The rest of the respondents didn’t answer the question.
This question also had a strong relationship with party affiliation: Thirty-six percent of Republicans would recommend getting the vaccine, while 35% would recommend against it. The other 29% didn’t answer the question.
Among Democrats, 82% said they’d recommend the vaccine, while 13% said they wouldn’t.
The survey also asked how COVID-19 affected Idahoans economically.
As a result of the pandemic, 26% of respondents said they’ve had trouble paying bills, 15% said they’ve gotten food from a food bank or charitable organization, and 11% said they’ve received unemployment benefits.
Just more than a quarter of all respondents (26%) said their financial situation is worse now than it was when the pandemic began. Fifty-eight percent said their situation is about the same, and 15% said their situation is better.
Researchers said the sample of people surveyed was representative of the states’ population geographically and demographically. The survey had a simple random sampling margin of error of 3.1%. The survey reached respondents by cell phone (43%), landline phone (17%), online (30%) and text message (10%).