The American People Have Had It with Anthony Fauci, Polls Find

Posted: May 22, 2021 6:15 PM
The American People Have Had It with Anthony Fauci, Polls Find

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Over a year into the pandemic, after we were told we would only need two weeks to stop the spread, the American people are understandably less than thrilled with Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

Lawrence Richard of the Washington Examiner pointed to not one, but two polls showing so. 

One, from the Trafalgar Group, found that almost double the amount of overall likely voters said their confidence in Dr. Fauci had decreased in the past year as it had increased, by 42.2 percent to 22.1 percent. A plurality of respondents, at 30.1 percent, said their confidence had "decreased significantly," while 26.1 percent said their confidence was "unchanged."

Respondents were least likely to choose that their view "increased," with only 9 percent doing so, while 9.6 percent shared they had "no opinion."

The results were predictable for Democrats and Republicans, though the increased confidence in Fauci from Democrats, at 32.4 to 20.0 percent was not as significant as the decreased confidence from Republicans, at 66.1 to 12.1 percent. 

A strong plurality of Democrats said their confidence was unchanged, at 34.7 percent. A majority of Republicans, however, at 50.8 percent, said their confidence "decreased significantly." 

Those with no party affiliation were twice as likely to say their confidence decreased rather than increased, by 41.7 percent to 20.4 percent. A plurality, at 31.5 percent, said their view was unchanged, though 27.3 percent said their confidence "decreased significantly."

The poll was conducted May 16-May 18 with 1,093 respondents of likely voters, with 2.96 percent margin of error. Like most polls, Democrats were oversampled, making the decrease in confidence from overall respondents all the more noteworthy. The respondent breakdown was 39.3 percent Democrats, 35.6 percent Republicans, and 25.1 percent who were categorized as "non-partisan/other."

The Trafalgar Group was named the best poll for the 2016 presidential election. Their polling was also accurate when it came to showing Glenn Youngkin would the most support at the Virginia GOP convention. Youngkin won the nomination on May 10. 

Then there's a poll from Yahoo! News/YouGov. The headline there is with how Republican respondents regard Fauci, in a poll of 1,561 adults, conducted May 11-May 13.

"New Poll Shows 61 Percent of Republicans Say Dr. Anthony Fauci ‘Hurt America,’" Tommy Christopher reported for Mediaite.

Analyzing these results requires a lot more nuance. 

Respondents were indeed asked "Which comes closest to your view of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s impact during the pandemic," with one option that he heled more than hurt and another hurt more than helped. Sixty percent of Republicans indeed said that he hurt more than helped. 

Also, the overall respondent breakdown was interesting, with 46 percent saying he helped more and 30 percent saying he hurt more, but then 24 percent saying they had no opinion. If that 24 percent changed their mind, the hurt more than help view could overtake, or the help more than hurt could widen the gap even more.

Another question asked respondents to "rate the way Dr. Anthony Fauci is handling the COVID-19 crisis." While a plurality chose "excellent," at 26 percent, a nearly identical amount chose "poor," at 25 percent. Sixteen percent were unsure.

It's significant that women and Democrats, who support Fauci, are sampled at a higher number than men and Republicans, who do not.

To illustrate, a plurality of 702 men, at 30 percent, rate Fauci's handling as "poor." Meanwhile, a plurality of 857 women, at 28 percent, rate his handling as "excellent." And then a majority of 537 Democrats, at 54 percent, say Fauci is doing an "excellent" job, while a majority of Republicans, at 55 percent, say he is doing a "poor" job.

Here's hoping Anthony Fauci enjoyed the spotlight while it lasted.