During a Monday campaign event in Minnesota, Vice President Mike Pence promised that a coronavirus vaccine would soon be available for distribution to tens of millions of Americans. However, a recent Dallas Morning News/UT Tyler poll shows Texans are currently divided on the idea of an immunization.
The poll was conducted from October 13 to October 20 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.08 percent with a sample size of 1,012 registered voters in Texas.
Of those respondents, 49 percent said they would take a COVID-19 vaccine if it became available. On the other hand, 27 percent of respondents indicated they were not willing to take the vaccine, while 23 percent expressed no opinion.
While a number of companies have COVID-19 vaccines in the works, New York pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. made a joint deal with the European entity BioNTech to provide 100 million doses of an immunization to Americans.
Pfizer’s immunization is in the later phases of safety testing. The company is reportedly in the middle of testing its vaccine on a group of volunteers.
The poll further questioned Texas voters on a number of issues, including their views of law enforcement, immigration, the Black Lives Matter movement, the National Rifle Association, and socialism.
The survey showed that “defunding the police” is unpopular among Texas voters. Three in five respondents said they were opposed or strongly opposed to defunding the police, while a quarter said they were in favor of the idea.
In a similar vein, 64 percent also indicated they held a favorable view of local police while 11 percent had an unfavorable view.
Also related to law enforcement was the question of whether qualified immunity — which limits civil action against police officers — should be abolished for police officers, which 55 percent supported or strongly supported while 24 percent were opposed or strongly opposed.
The poll shows Texas voters are ambivalent about the prospect of deploying the military to quell unrest, as 45 percent supported or strongly supported deploying the military in such a case while 37 percent were opposed or strongly opposed.
On the issue of immigration, 53 percent of Texas voters said they support or strongly support giving legal status to individuals who illegally entered the U.S. as children. 26 percent said they were opposed.
The poll also questioned participants on their views of the Black Lives Matter movement and the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Forty percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of the Black Lives Matter movement, while the same percentage said they had an unfavorable view.
A similar dynamic existed with respect to public support for the NRA. 35 percent said they have a favorable view of the NRA, while the same proportion have an unfavorable view.
According to the survey, socialism also remains unpopular in the Lone Star State. A majority of Texas voters — 52 percent — said they have an unfavorable view of socialism, while 15 percent have a favorable view.
With respect to the U.S. Senate race, when asked if Election Day were today, 40 percent of respondents said they would vote for Sen. John Cornyn, 32 percent said they would vote for M.J. Hegar, four percent supported Kerry McKennon, two percent supported David Collins, and 22 percent were undecided.
In the battle for the Texas House, half of respondents indicated they would vote for a Democrat for state representative, while 49 percent said they would vote for a Republican.
Meanwhile, 40 percent of Texas voters identified as Republican, 33 percent identified as Democrat, and 27 percent identified as neither.
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan in Dallas. During the academic year, he coaches high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.