In Defiance column: Survey says … vaccines, school mask mandates, Boebert, Biden hot topics in PI’s weekly online polls

John Stroud
In Defiance

The Post Independent’s weekly online poll questions generated a lot of interest for web browsers during 2021.

Several of our polls — the results of which are printed in the Opinion section once they’ve closed — generated more than 1,000 responses.

The polls are, of course, completely unscientific with no fail-safe controls over how many times a user can vote, or even whether they reside here in Garfield County.

They do, however, provide a glimpse into what the people who choose to respond are thinking.

The most votes this past year came with the question we posed on Aug. 31: Should Colorado health care workers be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19?

A total of 1,907 responses came to that question, with 888 respondents saying, “Yes, it’s an extra protection to patients, the public and themselves;” 747 responding, “No, it should be a matter of personal choice;” 221 responding, “No, there are still too many unknowns about the long-term effects;” and 53 saying, “Yes, it’s a good message to send to others who are hesitant to get vaccinated.”

Two other polls related to vaccine and mask requirements also generated more than 1,700 responses.

When asked the week of Sept. 27: Should K-12 students and staff be required to wear masks at this point to keep COVID-19 spread in check?, 789 respondents replied “Yes;” 772 said “No;” 108 said “Only if they’re vaccinated;” and 75 said “Only until a school achieves an 80% vaccination rate.”

When asked the week previous to that: What’s your take on the new COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal employees and vaccination/testing requirements for businesses with 100 or more workers?, 595 respondents said, “It’s necessary to control the virus and get back to normal;” 419 said, “Unfortunately, this is what it comes to when people refuse to do the right thing;” 328 said, “It’s a personal health decision and should not be mandated;” and 326 proclaimed, “This is government overreach at its worst.”

Only 54 responded, “What happened to ‘we’re all in this together?'”

Perhaps that latter response, even though it didn’t generate a lot of votes, could have been the theme for 2021 in general.

On the national front, we asked our online readers a simple yes/no question following the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.: Should U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert resign or be censured over social media posts related to the D.C. riot?

The vast majority of those who responded, 869, said “Yes,” while 382 said “No.”

As newly elected President Joe Biden settled into office in February, we also went national with the question: A month into Joe Biden’s presidency, how would you rate his performance so far?

With the honeymoon still fresh on their minds, 569 readers responded, “Great, I’m optimistic for the nation under his leadership;” while the next-largest block of voters weren’t so sure, responding, “Terrible, he’s not delivered on any promises yet.”

A fair number, 155, were still “Undecided, still too early to make much progress;” and 72 said, “I just want my stimulus check.”

Look for us to pose that question again when Biden marks one year in office next month.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or

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