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COVID Optimism Continues to Climb, Concern Steadily Dissolving

Updated: May 8

Majority of Arizonans Vaccinated, Expect Conditions to Improve in Next 30 Days

PHOENIX (May 19th, 2021)- More Arizonans than ever are feeling confident in a post-COVID future as a majority of Arizonans have received at least one vaccine shot, according to OH Predictive Insights’ most recent Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP).

Optimism among Arizonans continues to climb, with 55% expecting COVID conditions to be better next month than they are now. Only 15% expect things to worsen.

“Arizona has turned the corner,” said OHPI’s Chief of Research, Mike Noble. “Vaccine distribution is expanding to more and more of the population and the light at the end of the COVID tunnel is more visible than ever.”

This AZPOP, conducted from May 3 - 5, surveyed 1,000 general population Arizonans (18+ YO) and had a margin of error of ± 3.1%. Of the 1,000 completed surveys, 935 were registered voters. The sample of 935 registered voters yielded a MoE of ± 3.2%.

may 2021 azpop covid expectations

Fifty-four percent of Arizonans 18+ say they have already received the vaccine, which is broadly in line with ADHS reporting. Note: ADHS reporting includes Arizona residents under the age of 18, while OHPI’s AZPOP only surveys Arizona adults (18+ YO).

Seven in 10 Arizonans surveyed have already been vaccinated or say they would take a vaccine. One-fifth (21%) would not. Of the share of respondents who would not take a vaccine, hesitancy is highest among conservatives (34%), non-White respondents (27% of Hispanics, 25% of other non-Whites), and younger people (25% of 18-54-year-olds).

In encouraging news for the age group at a higher risk of serious COVID symptoms, 76% of people 55+ report already having taken the vaccine, twice that of the 18-54-year-old population (38%).

may 2021 azpop vax willingness

OH Predictive Insights Chief of Research, Mike Noble, had this to say about vaccine distribution in Arizona: “The great news with the success of the vaccine rollout is we are seeing drops in concern across the board, even among the groups who have historically been most concerned over COVID.”

When it comes to Arizonans’ concern about the Coronavirus, only 41% are extremely or moderately concerned, while 38% are slightly or not at all concerned. The news sources that a person watches on a regular basis (at least once per week) plays a large role in their level of concern. Sixty-two percent of regular CNN watchers and 63% of regular MSNBC watchers are extremely or moderately concerned about COVID, compared to only 43% of regular FOXNews watchers who share the same level of concern.

may 2021 azpop covid concern by news source

In this AZPOP, we also asked respondents to identify their amount of trust and confidence in local news media when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Results revealed that a respondent’s degree of trust in their local news goes hand in hand with their concern over COVID. Sixty-eight percent of those who say they trust their local news media “a great deal” are extremely or moderately concerned with the Coronavirus, and 42% of Arizonans who trust their local news media “a fair amount” share the same level of concern.

may 2021 azpop covid conern by news trust

In each survey that OHPI has collected data on the subject of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, concern over the outbreak has been closely tied to a respondent’s political party registration. Looking at registered voters, extreme and moderate concern over the spread of COVID is at its lowest point since March of 2020 among Democrats (57%) and Independents (39%), the two political parties who have consistently been the most concerned about the spread of the Coronavirus in Arizona. Republican voters (23%) are statistically tied for their lowest level of concern since March 2020.

may 2021 azpop covid concern by party

“The data has been consistent regarding COVID. The virus doesn’t care about political party, income level, gender. It’s like the honey badger - COVID don’t care!” said OHPI Chief of Research, Mike Noble. “Sadly, due to hyper-polarization in politics, the virus was treated as a political football. But, with the politicking of COVID aside, it seems that everyone is starting to move on due to the efforts of leadership and healthcare heroes of Arizona.”

As a whole, Arizonans are split on why they wear masks. It is important to note that this AZPOP was conducted before the CDC released their statement saying fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks (except where required by local law or business guidance). Looking at the most reported reasons, 37% say they wear a mask because they are concerned about spreading COVID while another 37% say they wear one because they are following guidelines from the CDC or other health authorities. The group most likely to say they wear masks to avoid spreading COVID is liberals (22%). Only 12% of Arizonans as a whole say this.

Older (55+) Arizonans and White Arizonans are more likely to say they are wearing masks to comply with CDC or other health authority guidance, while younger (18-54 YO) and non-White Arizonans are more likely to say they are wearing one to avoid contracting COVID. Only 9% of the overall population say that they wear a mask to avoid being judged by others. The groups most likely to say this are conservatives (13%), Hispanics (12%), and Maricopa County residents (11%).

may 2021 azpop mask reasons

Through the course of the global pandemic, the shift to remote work has aided the population in mitigating the spread of the virus, and a majority of workers are satisfied with their experiences working from home. The benefits of remote work have translated to a preference for remote work over time for many, and our survey shows that a large share of Arizonans would rather participate in most work events from home. Among employed respondents (either part-time, full-time, or self-employed), more than half prefer attending large group meetings (58%), or small team projects (51%), and presenting in front of a group (51%) virtually from home. Arizona workers favor one-on-one meetings with their supervisor (46%), one-on-one meetings with people they supervise (43%), and meeting new clients or customers (42%) virtually from home.

may 2021 azpop work event preferences

“Among the aftereffects from this pandemic that we haven’t seen yet, one thing is for certain: Going back to work as normal after the pandemic has passed will come with a need for employers to be receptive and flexible to change in order to remain competitive for top talent,” said Mike Noble, OHPI Chief of Research.


Methodology: This poll was conducted as an online opt-in panel survey. The survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights from May 3rd to May 5th, 2021, from an Arizona Statewide General Population sample. The General Population sample demographics were weighted to accurately reflect gender, region, age, ethnicity, and education based on the most recent U.S. Census estimates. The sample size was 1,000 general population (18+ YO) Arizonans, with a MoE of ± 3.1%. Of the 1,000 completed surveys, 935 were Registered Voters. This sample’s demographics were weighted to accurately reflect gender, region, age, ethnicity, party affiliation, and education based on the most current Arizona Secretary of State voter file. The sample of 935 Registered Voters yielded a MoE of ± 3.2%.Numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding.

Media Contact:

Veronica Sutliff, Noble Predictive Insights,, (602) 390-5248

About Noble Predictive Insights: As a nonpartisan public opinion polling, market research, and data analytics firm, Noble Predictive Insights exists to elevate the world around us by empowering decision-makers with digestible data and actionable insights that translate to data-based solutions. We bridge the gap between research and strategy with customized strategic research, a hyper-focus on impact, and being true partners with our clients. Noble Predictive Insights (formerly O.H. Predictive Insights) is a 2023 Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company in the Southwest region, and is ranked in the top 15 most accurate pollsters as well as in the top 5 for lowest average bias in the 2021-22 election cycle by FiveThirtyEight. For more information, please call (602) 326-5694 or visit our website at



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