What to Know
- Two-thirds of New Jersey voters, including parents of school-age children, support the state’s school mask mandate, however, they are more divided on the idea of requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for age-eligible children, a Monmouth University Poll published Monday found.
- Additional Monmouth University Poll findings include that anxiety about the risk of contracting COVID has ticked up since May.
- To see the entire poll, click here.
Two-thirds of New Jersey voters, including parents of school-age children, support the state’s school mask mandate, however, they are more divided on the idea of requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for age-eligible children, a Monmouth University Poll published Monday found.
Additional Monmouth University Poll findings include that anxiety about the risk of contracting COVID has ticked up since May. However, a majority of voters say New Jersey has been doing better than other states in dealing with the pandemic.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from Aug.11 to 16 with 810 New Jersey registered voters. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.
COVID-19 AND SCHOOLS
Forty-eight percent of New Jersey voters say the state’s schools should be fully open for in-person instruction in the fall. This is down from the 56% of Garden State voters that thought in May that schools should be fully in person. The poll also found that 39% say they should have a mix of in-person and remote instruction. Meanwhile, 8% say should be fully remote.
Among parents of children under 18 years old, 53% say schools should be fully in person, while 40% prefer a hybrid model, and 6% want fully remote instruction.
Around 67% of registered voters, with 69% of parents, support the requirement that students, teachers, and staff in New Jersey schools wear face masks this year.
Staff members, school visitors and students from kindergarten to 12th grade will be required to wear masks in New Jersey schools -- regardless of vaccination status -- when the new school year begins in a few weeks amid renewed COVID concerns stoked by the delta variant, Gov. Phil Murphy announced earlier this month.
However, when it comes to vaccine requirements, 53% of state voters would approve of requiring children age 12 and older to be vaccinated in order to attend school in person. Just under half of state voters (45%) support the same requirement for school children under 12 years old if a vaccine is authorized for that age group. Parents, on the other hand, are less supportive of vaccine mandates for school attendance with 44% approving the requirement of these vaccinations for the middle to high school age group and 39% supoorting that requirement for younger children.
“The vocal opposition to the state’s school mask mandate is a decidedly minority view. However, there may be greater pushback from parents if a vaccine mandate was instituted for school children,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
GARDEN STATE'S RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC
Overall, there has been a drop in the number of voters who say state government measures to slow the virus have been appropriate from 58% in May to 45% currently. On the other hand, the number saying the state has not gone far enough has increased from 13% to 24%. Additionally, one in four state voters (25%) say state COVID measures have gone too far, which is similar to three months ago (28%).
When it comes to the topic of masks and other COVID guidelines, a majority (62%) of New Jersey voters support reinstituting general face mask and social distancing guidelines, while 35% are opposed to this. The majority of support for these measures comes from Democrats (86%) and independents (58%), but only 28% of Republicans.
Roughly 43% of state voters are very concerned about a family member becoming seriously ill from the coronavirus outbreak -- up slightly from the 37% who thought this in May. This increase may be due to states currently fighting the virus' highly contagious delta variant, which has increased the number of COVID-19 cases country-wide.
However, more voters (51%) say New Jersey has been doing better than other states in handling the pandemic than say it has done worse (17%).
“The delta variant has raised public concern, but New Jerseyans look at what is happening in places like Florida and Texas and feel we have things under better control here,” said Murray.
The fight against COVID-19 has centered around getting as many people as possible vaccinated. While tri-state officials have been ratcheting up pressure to get more people inoculated, some residents are still hesitant to do so.
Overall, 79% of New Jersey voters report receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 2% plan to get it as soon as possible and 5% are still waiting for other people to get vaccinated to see how they fare before considering doing so themselves. However, 10% say they will never get the vaccine if they can avoid it -- this opposition to the vaccine by New Jersey voters has dipped from 14% in May but is lower than the comparable national figure of 16%.
In general, republicans (18%) and independents (12%) and are more likely than Democrats (3%) to fall into the anti-vax group, although the number has declined among all three partisan groups since May.
GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PANDEMIC
The Monmouth University Poll found that 61% of state voters say Murphy is doing a good job dealing with the pandemic -- down from 65% who said the same in May.
Meanwhile, 54% of New Jersey voters say President Biden has done a good job handling the pandemic, which is down from 65% in May.
To see the entire poll, click here.