Returning to normal will be a lot harder if 30% of Americans continue to refuse to get vaccinated. The good news: that number is trending down…
Given that a person's political orientation is the biggest predictor of vaccine hesitancy, and we're geographically polarized, I wouldn't be surprised if we see lots of blue areas approach normalcy before red areas, where refusing vaccines and guidelines could prolong circulation
The good news, for now, is that Republicans don't seem to be getting *more* hesitant to take the vaccine, as we may have expected given typical post-inauguration polarization in attitudes. I consider this one of the biggest sources of optimism in months.
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More from @gelliottmorris

21 Feb
One of the hardest parts about writing a book about trusting the will of the people to guide our gov right now is that about 25-30% of the public has basically been brainwashed by an anti-fact media ecosystem and radicalized by bad-faith opinion leaders.

So... why trust people?
The answer is at once obvious and a hard pill to swallow: The vast majority of Americans still see Jan 6 for what it (verifiably) was: a violent mob of Trump supporters trying to kill oppo leaders and overthrow the government. So we can still trust the majority. But we also have
to acknowledge that a ~fourth of Americans aren't adding to the wisdom of the public, bc they aren't getting information that would lead them to rationalize or otherwise deliberate about what government could do for them. The hard truth is that we can't always trust the people.
Read 7 tweets
19 Feb
I really wonder how different our conversation about "the future of polling" would be if people just lowered their expectations for horse race precision down to the appropriate level
I am not denying that polling error exists, merely arguing that slightly-larger-than-average errors should be less surprising to people. I think this tweet proves my point. Four points of bias on vote share is not rare, nor does it make polling useless
The easiest way to make progress might just be for pollsters to double whatever traditional margin of sampling error they're reporting. (Would not be opposed to arguments in favor of tripling.)

Read 6 tweets
18 Feb
New report on faith in American democracy and elections from @BrightLineWatch

29% of respondents say they'd support dissolving the US into smaller, "like-minded" nations, including 50% of Republicans in the South and 41% of Ds on west-coast states…
@BrightLineWatch I read a lot of polling data about how polarized and hopelessly divided many Americans are, but this report showing that one-third of people favor breaking up the nation is perhaps the most distressing
In terms of still having faith in "the people," it is reassuring to see that a clear majority of Americans still want their country to stay intact — but that's, like, kinda a minimum bar
Read 5 tweets
17 Feb
Some people have suggested that this may be at least partially driven by Republicans who are favorable toward Biden choosing not to call themselves Republicans any more, as they see the party drifting further to the right. I think the opposite is happening, actually. Some data:
Sample sizes for some of these groups are small, so be wary of trying to infer too much, but our Economist/YouGov data suggest show that the Republicans who are favorable to Trump / disapprove of Biden might be the ones who have left; see the big increase in Trump-voting Indies.
If Trump voters are mad at the party leadership who voted to convict Trump and are shirking the party label — as the embrace of Trump's calls for a Patriot Party would suggest — then we would expect GOP opinion toward Biden to get _warmer_, not colder.
Read 5 tweets
16 Feb
Since Nov 2020, there has been a significant decline in the share of voters calling themselves Republicans, according to The Economist/YouGov polls. A monthly average of 42% of voters called themselves Reps before 11/3; today, 37% do. Capitol riot may have accelerated the trend.
This is the first sign I've seen that Republicans might need to take their de-registration problems seriously. Although there was a similar decline for Democrats after they lost the 2016 election, the trend didn't revert to pre-election levels until just before the 2018 midterms.
My prior is that Reps will stage a similar recovery over the next 2 yrs, but the post-Nov decline in GOP self-identification is the steepest I've seen in YouGov's data since 2016, so it could be different this time.

PS I'm not seeing any abnormal weights from non-response issues
Read 6 tweets
14 Feb
We talk a lot in American political discourse about “tyranny of the majority,” but the real problem is the opposite: letting <40% of the population overrule the other >60% will probably not work out in the long run. (GOP Senators represent 44% of Americans but have 50 seats.)
Obviously, ther3 should be reasonable safeguards for the political minority. But more often than not the “tyrannical minority” has been made into a boogeyman for people seeking to impose minoritarian will over the rest of the people. Sadly, it has usually worked (for a while).
One thing people forget a lot is that America’s political and electoral institutions were built long before the idea of true majoritarian popular sovereignty was accepted by most people. That’s true even when the founders were restricting rights to white landowning men.
Read 5 tweets

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