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Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Note: Margin of error +/-3.2%; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

A majority of Americans — including suburban voters — support vaccine mandates for federal workers as well as private companies, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: The findings, on the heels of President Biden's mandates announcement last week, suggest that while his move was divisive, it may be politically safer than his opponents hope.

What they're saying: "From a political perspective, he especially reinforces himself with independents," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.

  • "The No. 1 issue for Biden has been COVID, and he’s been losing ground on it, especially among independents ... it should stanch the bleeding ... this is an initiative that could help bolster him there."
  • However, "he wins no points with Republicans. He wins a lot of points with Democrats, but they already support him."

The big picture: Respondents were asked two separate questions: Do you support the federal government requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19? And do you support a federal government rule that requires all business with 100 or more employees to make all staff be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID testing?

  • Their overall responses were virtually identical: 42% strongly supported both; 18% somewhat supported both; 13%–14% somewhat opposed both; and 25%–26% strongly opposed both.
  • In other words, respondents didn't draw major distinctions between mandates for public or private employees.

Between the lines: The high concentrations of strong support and strong opposition reinforce the depth of polarization.

By the numbers: About seven in 10 urban respondents supported the mandates or testing requirements, compared with nearly six in 10 suburban voters — and a little less than half of rural voters.

  • About two-thirds of respondents 65 and older, or under 30, support the mandates — compared with a little more than half of those in between.

Between the lines: Pollsters also asked this week's respondents which of the following options should be the federal government's current COVID vaccine policy priority.

  • 38% said redoubling efforts to get remaining unvaccinated Americans vaccinated. (That included nearly half of vaccinated respondents, but only one in 10 unvaccinated respondents.)
  • 28% would prioritize booster shots for every American who wants one.
  • 19% would prioritize making shots accessible to people in developing countries.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Sept. 10–13 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,065 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.

Go deeper

20 hours ago - Health

Biden to get booster shot on camera

Photo: Saul Loeb/ AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will receive his COVID booster shot on camera once it's fully approved for Americans ages 65 and older, the White House said Monday.

Why it matters: A federal advisory panel unanimously voted last week to recommend that the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) authorize a third dose of Pfizer's vaccine for people over the age of 65 and those at higher risk of infection.

12 hours ago - Health

Study: Pandemic cut U.S. life expectancy by more than 9 million years

Expand chart
Data: Annals of Internal Medicine; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The pandemic slashed U.S. life expectancy by more than 9 million years, with Black and Hispanic Americans losing more than twice as many years per capita compared to white Americans, according to research published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Why it matters: The data show that despite reports of older and more vulnerable populations assuming many of the deaths, young people with above-average life expectancies, including Black and Hispanic communities, were not spared.

21 hours ago - World

Biden to push vaccine-sharing at UN, but boosters at home

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

President Biden will convene world leaders on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to push them to do more to end the pandemic — though he's also facing criticism for prioritizing boosters at home.

Why it matters: There is still no functional plan in place to vaccinate the world, and past summits of this sort have flopped. The White House hopes that this virtual gathering will produce ambitious promises, accountability measures to track progress, and ultimately help achieve a 70% global vaccination rate this time next year.