August 25, 2021

Majority of voters back mask mandates

A majority of New Mexico voters support a mandate to wear masks indoors, an action that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the state Department of Health took place last week a day after a poll conducted for NM Political Report ended. An even larger majority thought schoolchildren under the age of 12 should be required to wear masks in schools.

The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling for NM Political Report, found that 53 percent of New Mexico voters thought the state should require masks to be worn indoors, while 40 percent disagreed.

Even more—55 percent thought that businesses should require masks for employees and customers, while 36 percent disagreed.

This all is in the background of a slight majority, 51 percent, approving of Lujan Grisham’s COVID-19 response.

The poll also asked about masks for children under the age of 12, who are ineligible for any COVID-19 vaccine so far, and 56 percent of voters believed that they should be required to wear masks in school, while 39 percent said they should not be required to wear masks. 

Voters were slightly against requiring schoolchildren 12 years of age or older to provide proof of vaccination, with 46 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed.

As of now, children age 12 and older can get COVID-19 vaccinations under an emergency use authorization. The Federal Drug Administration approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week. It was previously under an emergency use authorization. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are still under emergency use authorization.

The poll took place before the state imposed a mask mandate but as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spread throughout the state, causing the highest numbers of new cases and hospitalizations in months.

The poll of 682 New Mexico voters was taken on August 16 and 17. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent for all topline questions.