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Mask off: New poll shows partisan split on Utahns feelings about wearing a mask

FILE PHOTO - A new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics survey is shedding some light on how Utahns feel about wearing a mask in public, which includes an interesting partisan split.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics survey is shedding some light on how Utahns feel about wearing a mask in public. Just like a number of other things in today’s society, there’s already a partisan split on the issue.

Wearing a mask and politics

After polling a thousand registered voters, it revealed that around 42% of Utahns are already comfortable going into public without a face covering.

About 10% say it’ll take another month or two until they are comfortable with that. The remaining percentage said it’ll take several months until they are comfortable without a mask, or even longer.

Breaking down the numbers by political affiliation reveals an interesting split between reds and blues. 51% of those who identify as Republican say they are already comfortable without wearing one in public. Meanwhile, only 36% of Democrats feel the same way. 

Something people agree on? Face mask rights for businesses

There are some things that a majority of people in the state agree on, without a partisan split. The poll found that 70% of Utahns believe businesses should be allowed to decide whether customers wear masks.

The Deseret News spoke to Emily Moore, owner of Home Again in Sugar House. She says signs at front and rear entrances read “For the safety of our employees and customers, we ask you please wear a mask.”

According to her, most customers don’t have a problem with it, although there are outliers.

“The majority of people are super understanding and gracious about it,” she explains. “Then there are a handful who I would say are belligerent, who are angry about it.”

Moore says if she feels uncomfortable with being in close proximity to others without face coverings, then there’s probably plenty of others who feel the same way.

“I’m not comfortable yet,” she explains. “I wear a mask everywhere I go. My whole family does.”