Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters would feel comfortable going without a mask to an indoor restaurant, bar, or other social settings with a large number of people. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 40% would be uncomfortable.
These numbers are essentially unchanged since late May. That stability is interesting for a variety of reasons. In late May, 56% were confident that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. That figure has fallen to 28% today. Additionally, the CDC guidance on wearing masks has changed, a fact that 61% of voters recognize.
One possible explanation for this is that a large number of people are simply not following the CDC guidelines. Among those who recognize that the CDC recommends even vaccinated people to wear masks at indoor social events, 42% are comfortable attending such events without a mask. That’s consistent with data from a few months ago showing that just 33% of voters have been following the CDC guidance very closely.
The survey also found that a significant number of voters may have hypocritical attitudes about mask wearing and social distancing.
For example, among voters who think we need to re-impose stricter lockdowns, 30% are personally comfortable attending indoor social events without a mask. Additionally, among those who say they’d like to live in a state with strict mask and social distancing guidelines, 31% are personally comfortable attending indoor events without a mask.
While the practice of setting strict rules for others and violating them has generally been associated with government officials, these results suggest that between 9% and 13% of voters want strict guidelines but are personally comfortable violating them.
Another possible explanation is that these voters may be engaging in virtue signaling. While they are comfortable without masks, they may feel the need to voice support for stricter guidelines due to peer pressure within their social group.
Overall, 31% of voters want to re-impose strict mandates. Sixty-two percent are opposed.
Additionally, 48% of all voters would rather live in a state where masks and other social distancing rules are up to individuals and local businesses. Nearly as many–44%– would rather live in a state with strict mask mandates and social distancing rules.
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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left more than seven years ago and has had no involvement since that time.
The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 29-31, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 231 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Online respondents were selected from a list of Registered Voters and through a process of Random Digital Engagement. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.