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Data: Axios/SurveyMonkey online poll; Note: ±2.5% margin of error; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

More than six out of 10 Americans are hopeful about what 2021 has in store for the world, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

The big picture: After a year dominated by the pandemic and a seemingly endless presidential election, Americans are overwhelmingly hopeful that things will get better with the pandemic — and more narrowly hopeful about Joe Biden's presidency.

By the numbers: 63% of poll respondents said they're more hopeful than fearful about what 2021 holds in store for the world, while 36% said they're more fearful.

  • That's a jump in optimism compared to the same poll heading into 2019, when just 51% said they were hopeful and 48% said they were fearful.
  • The only group that wasn't optimistic about 2021 was Republicans: 41% said they were more hopeful, while 58% said they were more fearful.

Between the lines: Americans were even more optimistic about the year ahead for them personally — mostly driven by the hopes of young adults, people of color and Democrats.

The coronavirus was the one issue that united most people in optimism. Overall, 76% were more hopeful than fearful about the pandemic next year — a view that held across most age groups, racial and ethnic groups, and parties.

  • 82% of Democrats, 72% of Republicans, and 73% of independents said they were more hopeful than fearful.

The Biden presidency was more divisive. Overall, 56% were more hopeful about his presidency, while 42% were more fearful.

  • Not surprisingly, Republicans are the most pessimistic: 82% said they're more fearful than hopeful about his presidency.
  • By contrast, 59% of independents said they're more hopeful about it — and 92% of Democrats said the same.

And while Republicans are ready for President Trump to take on a big leadership role in the Republican Party after his presidency ends, that's not true of everyone else.

  • 75% of Republicans said they're more concerned that Trump will play too small a role in the future of the GOP rather than too big a role — while 51% of all respondents said they're more concerned that he'll play too big a role.
  • And more than half of Republicans (52%) said they believe Trump will have a major role in the Republican Party, while 30% said they think he'll have a minor role.
  • By contrast, just 34% of all respondents expect him to play a major role, while 32% think he'll have a minor role and 31% think he'll have no role at all.

Methodology: This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted Dec. 14-20 among a national sample of 3,561 adults in the U.S. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for the national sample.

Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

Go deeper

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults

A vaccination center installed at the Barbara Chapel of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP via Getty Images

Austria's lower house of parliament voted on Thursday in favor of making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for most adults from next month.

Why it matters: The bill is expected to soon pass the upper house and be signed by President Alexander Van der Bellen in order for the law to take effect Feb. 1, per Reuters. It'd make Austria the first EU nation to impose such a sweeping mandate.

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