Gov. Phil Murphy was at University Hospital to recognize the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 vaccine given in the state.
Murphy is using the moment in an effort to rally those who still are not vaccinated — and now, those who have not gotten their booster. And, even though cases are rising, it figures to be a tough fight.
The latest Monmouth University Poll, released Wednesday morning, indicated a majority of Americans said they feel “worn out” by how COVID has impacted their daily lives, and nearly half feel “angry” about it.
Support for facemask and workplace vaccine mandates has declined since the fall, when the Delta variant started to dominate.
More so — and in what may be tough news for Murphy and other elected officials — this feeling also may be having an impact on how they view their political leaders’ handling of the pandemic.
Here’s a look at some of the numbers:
- 6 in 10 Americans feel worn out by pandemic-related changes they have had to make to their daily lives over the past 20 months. This includes 36% who feel worn out a lot and 24% who feel worn out a little.
- Nearly half of the public feels angry about how COVID has impacted their daily lives — 24% a lot and 21% a little. Republicans (64%) are no more likely than Democrats (63%) to say they feel at least a little worn out by pandemic-related changes to their lives, but they are much more likely to report feeling angry (63% and 34%, respectively).
In regard to feeling worn out and angry, the results were as follows:
- Both worn out and angry: 36%;
- Worn out but not angry: 25%;
- Angry but nor worn out: 9%
- Neither worn out or angry: 30%
Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said the results were telling.
“The fact that Americans say they have had enough should be no surprise,” he said. “Every time we try to adjust to a new normal, another variant pops up to put us on guard again. This perpetual unease is having an impact on how we view those charged with handling the pandemic.”
While Murphy’s handling of COVID was not considered, the poll did not view President Joe Biden’s efforts well.
The public is now split on whether Biden has done a good job (46%) or bad job (46%). Prior to this poll, though, Biden’s ratings on the pandemic had consistently been in net positive territory, including as recently as last month (53% good and 41% bad).
These numbers may not speak well for Democratic candidates.
“We just came out of an off-year election in Virginia and New Jersey where blue states did not look so blue,” Murray said. “The failure to get COVID under control may be playing a role there, especially for independent voters, in a growing sense of frustration with the party in power.”