Nov 24, 2020 - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: COVID Thanksgiving

Data: Ipsos/Axios survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

Six in 10 Americans are dialing back this year's Thanksgiving plans because of the pandemic — cutting guest lists, canceling travel or scrapping Turkey Day altogether — in the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: This greater willingness to turn inward and exercise caution around the holidays comes amid signs of increased trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a growing confidence there will soon be a safe and effective vaccine available in the U.S.

  • For the first time in our poll, more than half of Americans (51%) say they're likely to take a first-generation COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it's available. College-educated and white Americans and Democrats are driving the trend.
  • 65% of respondents say they'd be likely to take a vaccine if pharmaceutical companies deemed it more than 90% effective.
  • An even greater share — 70% overall (55% of Black respondents and 60% of Republicans) — say they'd take it if public health officials say it's safe and effective.

What they're saying: "They have hope," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs. "It’s not Trump just saying something. It’s credible institutions. It’s more real now."

  • "They can see the concreteness of a vaccine on the horizon," Young said. "They understand the current reality is complicated, and they're self-quarantining for Thanksgiving."

By the numbers: About two-thirds of respondents say seeing family or friends this Thanksgiving would pose a large or moderate threat, while three-fourths say traveling poses a large or moderate threat.

  • 61% changed their Thanksgiving plans because of the recent spike in virus cases.
  • As we've seen time and again around pandemic polling, partisan identification plays a role in behavior: Democrats (75%) are most likely to say they modified their holiday plans, followed by independents (61%) and Republicans (49%).
  • Democrats were the most likely to limit gatherings to their immediate households, as opposed to simply reducing the size of the gatherings.
  • About one in 10 respondents won't observe Thanksgiving at all this year.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Nov. 20-23 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,002 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.
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