Axios-Ipsos poll: America learns to live with COVID
One in three Americans expects to catch COVID within the next month — and only one in 10 thinks it will be eradicated by this time next year — according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
The big picture: The new data shows Americans are coming to terms with living with COVID. But it also reveals an utter lack of consensus on how to live with it.
- People are divided about evenly into four camps on how to proceed: drop all mandates and requirements, keep some, keep most, or add even more.
- Half support stores or restaurants requiring customers to show proof of vaccination to enter.
The big question: Is America suffering from a leadership vacuum, or is it unleadable?
What they're saying: "There's nothing approaching a consensus on what we should be doing to move forward, which underlines the difficulty for policymakers," said Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson.
- Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, said the competing views are partly "a function of a polarized world that understands the pandemic in different ways."
- But because public opinion around COVID-19 has been a lagging rather than leading indicator, he also reads the divisions as a leadership failure and says many Americans are yearning for more consistency about what to do.
- "People are just sort of living their life and reacting to the macro forces and mitigating the risk, but it's very unclear where they're going," he said.
Between the lines: While the overall numbers show a four-way split over how the U.S. should handle the pandemic at this time, respondents' party ID play a huge role in their answers.
- 21% of overall respondents (43% of Republicans but just 3% of Democrats) said "open up and get back to life as usual with no coronavirus mandates or requirements."
- 29% overall (29% of Republicans and 25% of Democrats) urged a "move towards opening up, but still take some precautions."
- 23% overall (14% of Republicans and 34% of Democrats) said "mostly keep coronavirus precautions and requirements."
- 21% overall (7% of Republicans and 32% of Democrats) want to "increase mask mandates and coronavirus vaccine requirements."
- Of the four categories, only one — the move toward opening while continuing some precautions — has comparable support across party lines. And even then, it's less than one in three.
- While 51% of overall respondents support businesses requiring proof of vaccination to enter, that's only true for 25% of Republicans — but 72% of Democrats.
By the numbers: Two-thirds said COVID-19 isn't likely to be eradicated in the next year. Another one-fourth aren't sure. Just 11% said they believe it will be eradicated in the next year.
- 70% of respondents said if the vaccine become something that requires an annual booster comparable to the flu shot, they'd likely get it.
- 85% of those who have already been fully vaccinated and had a booster shot said they'd take a fourth shot if it were available.
Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Feb. 4-7 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,049 general population adults age 18 or older.
- The margin of sampling error is ±3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.