GREENVILLE, N.C. — A new survey from East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research asked adults nationwide to consider questions on life and liberty during a global pandemic. The results of the survey, conducted June 14-19 with 1,105 U.S. adults polled, revealed not only significant differences in opinion along party lines but also within the Republican Party.
Were pandemic measures such as stay-at-home orders and face-covering requirements a violation of personal freedom or necessary response to protect public health? What about potential vaccination requirements?
Unlike Democrats, who were largely unified, the survey found that Republicans were split on whether stay-at-home orders, face-covering requirements, and quarantine mandates for out-of-state travel were necessary to protect public health or wrongly took away people’s personal freedom. Similar patterns emerged on vaccination requirements, with Republicans more divided than Democrats. Independents sided more with the position that stay-at-home orders, face-covering requirements, and travel restrictions were necessary to protect public health but were divided into questions about COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
“COVID-19 measures and vaccinations remain significant topics of controversy. Most interesting, however, is that disagreements around these issues do not run strictly along predictable party lines, but also divide Republicans against Republicans,” said Dr. Peter Francia, director of the Center for Survey Research. “At the heart of that division is a debate, as old as the republic, over personal freedom and public safety.”
The survey was conducted as part of the center’s Life, Liberty, and Happiness Project, which was created to offer new insights into American public attitudes and behaviors on topics related to the nation’s founding principles.
To view the full results of the survey visit the Center for Survey Research website.