Wyoming Counties That Backed Trump Have Lower Vaccination Rates

Following a national trend, Wyoming counties that had the lowest vaccination rates had the strongest support for former President Trump.

Jim Angell

August 23, 20213 min read

Vax rate trump
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Following a national trend, Wyoming counties that saw the highest percentage of their voters support the re-election of former President Donald Trump also generally have the state’s lowest percentage of vaccinated residents.

However, the trend does not reflect support or opposition for Trump or President Joe Biden as much as it does an attitude of distrust for the federal government commonly found in Wyoming residents, said Jim King, a professor of political science at the University of Wyoming.

“You can go back to 2008 and look at the elections and see exactly the same results,” he said. “It’s not Trump.”

A study of county vaccination rates and voting patterns conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that in counties where voters backed Trump, vaccination rates averaged 28.5% of the population. In counties with a majority of support for President Joe Biden, the rate was 35%.

However, in Wyoming, where almost 70 percent of the voters supported Trump, the state’s rate of fully vaccinated residents is set at 34.3%, higher than the national average in areas that voted for Trump.

The trend outlined by the Kaiser Family Foundation is generally followed in Wyoming counties, however.

Figures from the state Department of Health and secretary of state’s office showed that the Wyoming County with the highest level of support for Trump, Crook at 88.6%, also had the lowest vaccination rate at 19.4%

Similarly, in Campbell County, where 86.8% of the voters cast their ballot for Trump, the vaccination rate is 19.4%.

In Teton County, where the support for President Joe Biden was the highest in the state — 67.1% — the county also has the highest vaccination rate in the state, 71.1%. Albany County, which saw the second-highest level of support for Biden in the state at 48.8%, also has the second-highest vaccination rate in the state, 45.3%.

But King said the results would be the same if election results going back years were compared to vaccination rates, with counties showing the most support for Republican candidates having the lowest vaccination rates.

The trend in Wyoming is the result of a distrust in the national government, he said.

“What you’re seeing is generally the counties where you find people who are less trusting of the national government, they tend to vote a higher percentage Republican,” he said. “What you’re seeing is not anything related directly to the 2020 elections.”

The distrust in federal authority extends to beliefs about the need for or effects of the vaccines, he said.

“You’re seeing an attitude or opinion that manifests itself in both the vote percentage and, I think, the trust in the vaccine or the need for the vaccines,” he said. “It’s a situation where you’ve got a basic belief or opinion or attitude that sees itself manifested in both of those outcomes.”

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Jim Angell