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Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About half of Americans are worried that trick-or-treating will spread coronavirus in their communities, according to this week's installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This may seem like more evidence that the pandemic is curbing our nation's cherished pastimes. But a closer look reveals something more nuanced about Americans' increased acceptance for risk around activities in which they want to participate.

By the numbers: Parents of trick-or-treat-aged children are actually less worried that trick-or-treating poses a large or moderate risk to their community (45%) than adults overall (58%).

  • “Parents, that’s a risk they’re willing to run because of the importance of Halloween,” said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.
  • "Acceptance doesn’t mean you’ve overcome a problem," but “we’re at acceptance level. People have learned to mitigate the risk and live with the virus. This is our new reality.”

Be smart: The implications go beyond duct-taping a homemade candy chute to your stair railing to dispense Reese's Pieces this year, or putting a surgical mask over a Wonder Woman mask for added safety.

  • It extends to U.S. voters who intend to load up on PPE and wait in line to cast their ballots in person.
  • It extends to Americans experimenting with how to safely reunite with family and friends.
  • Out latest polling suggests there's less concern about spread from Halloween, which is primarily celebrated outdoors, than with the coming winter holidays that typically involve large indoor family gatherings.

Between the lines: As with virtually every other measure of pandemic fears, Halloween has a partisan divide: 75% of Democrats, 52% of independents and 34% of Republicans say it's risky this year.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Oct. 23-26, 2020, by Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,079 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 3.3 percentage points.

Go deeper

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
Updated 23 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Highlights from Biden and Harris' first joint interview since the election

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

Romney: Trump's lack of leadership on COVID-19 is "a great human tragedy"

Sen. Mitt Romney and President Trump. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

GOP Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) told CNN Thursday that President Trump's lack of leadership during the coronavirus pandemic is "a great human tragedy."

Driving the news: Trump has largely stayed silent on the country's worsening pandemic in recent weeks, even as the U.S. experienced a record daily death toll and hospitalizations surpassed 100,000 for the first time. Instead, the president has focused much of his public commentary on pushing baseless claims of widespread election fraud.