So this trundled across my Twitter feed a while back:
Whoa. Polling data suggests vaccine denial is stronger on the political *right* today.yougov.com/news/2012/12/0…—
Chris Mooney (@chriscmooney) December 14, 2012
Here are the survey results:
There’s a slight and statistically significant anti-vaccination trend among Republicans. This doesn’t surprise me, since the only vaccination polling I’ve seen is from 2009, where Republicans were less likely to support influenza vaccination.
As I’ve noted before, Mooney has bought into the unsubstantiated stereotype of anti-vaccination being a left-wing cause. Yes, there are some nominally ‘left’ celebrities who are anti-vaxxers (though Republican Congressman Burton is also an anti-vaxxer, along with some of his colleagues). But, as far as I can tell, this is a stereotype based on encounters with the subset of Whole Foods shoppers who are idiot jackasses. It’s analogous to the ‘limousine liberal’ trope: most liberals are not rich, but most of the chattering class has little or no interaction with low-income people. If they did, they would realize that low-income people are liberal, at least on economic issues. Likewise, the anti-vaxxers that a successful, college educated professional is likely to meet will be liberal-ish, but that says nothing about the conservative anti-vaxxers, since they don’t meet them very often.
If you’re going to argue on behalf of science (which is a good thing!), you should be guided by data, not stereotype.