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Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

Most Americans support mandating masks in schools and vaccinations to return to the workplace, and they oppose states' efforts to ban such moves, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

But, but, but: The survey finds the Republican base going against the grain so disproportionately that it helps explain the defiant postures of many red-state governors.

  • It also showed regional differences, with Midwesterners the most critical of mandates.

What they're saying: “This is why we’re seeing so much conflict,” said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.

  • “This data shows that public policy and public health is continuously challenged by our politics today" and that "at the end of the day, it’s all-politics-is-local."

By the numbers: Overall, 69% of respondents support their local school districts requiring everyone — including teachers, students, and administrators — to wear masks in schools. But that was true for just 44% of Republicans, compared with two-thirds of independents and nine in 10 Democrats.

  • 64% of respondents support state and local government mandates requiring masks to be worn in all public areas.
  • Just one in three Americans supports state laws prohibiting local governments from requiring masks (Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued executive orders banning mask requirements in schools).
  • But that number masks a big partisan gap: 57% of Republicans support those laws, compared to just 16% of Democrats.
  • There's widespread opposition across party lines to states withholding funds from schools or local governments that require masks, as DeSantis threatened to do.
  • 55% of Americans support companies requiring all employees to be vaccinated to return to the workplace — that's nearly eight in 10 Democrats but just three in 10 Republicans.

Between the lines: The survey found there aren't nearly as many mandates yet in place as people say they'd be willing to support.

  • Just half of respondents said their employers are requiring masks be worn at work, and 16% said their bosses are requiring all employees to be vaccinated.

What we're watching: Respondents were asked a series of true-or-false questions, including whether masks have been shown to limit person-to-person spread of COVID-19, and whether the vaccine is more deadly that the virus itself.

  • While most people across party lines knew the facts, Republicans were disproportionately likely to answer incorrectly or to say they didn't know.
  • A jarring half of all respondents either said there's no evidence that wearing masks in schools gives children more protection against COVID-19 or said they didn't know.

The intrigue: In a new question this week, respondents were asked how much trust they place in conservative news — and about one in three of both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans said they have a great or fair amount of trust.

  • But among the unvaccinated, conservative news actually holds the highest trust share compared with how the view network TV, national papers and cable.
  • Those who have been vaccinated say they have much higher levels of trust in newspapers and network TV.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Aug. 13-16 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,041 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

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Age is still a huge coronavirus risk factor — Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns.
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Florida's secret delta toll

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Roughly 4,500 Tampa Bay residents — an average of about 36 per day — died from COVID-19 over the four months the Florida Department of Health did not share daily pandemic information with citizens.

Driving the news: The data is now available and gives a clearer picture of the heartbreaking toll of the latest record-breaking spikes from the delta variant — which is only now subsiding — between June and October.

Best schools in Illinois

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Chicago scored big with both high schools and grade schools in this year's rankings of the top 10 schools in the state, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Why it matters: The Chicago Public School system is often maligned for its failures but also runs the best schools in the state.