Majority of Americans favor president’s vaccine mandate: poll

But support splits along party lines

Six in ten Americans support the vaccine mandates President Biden announced last week, although support is divided sharply along party lines, a new survey finds.

According to the latest Axios/Ipsos poll, conducted September 10-13, 60% of Americans favor requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for federal employees and businesses and organizations with 100 employees or more. However, only about 30% of Republicans support the requirements, compared with more than 80% of Democrats and 60% of independents.

From a political perspective, the support among independents is especially important, according to 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. This is an initiative that could help bolster him there," Young said in a statement.

The poll also finds that increasing numbers of Americans are experiencing vaccine and masking requirements at work and in public places. Twenty-five percent of respondents said their employers now require that all employees be vaccinated, compared with 16% in a survey conducted August 10-13.

Similarly, 58% of respondents said their employers require mask wearing at work, up from 51% in the August survey, and 43% said their state or local government require masks to be worn in public places, up from just 33% in August.

Other findings from the survey:

  • Concern over the spread of the Delta coronavirus is growing, with 53% of respondents now saying they are “extremely” or “very” concerned, compared with 35% in late June.
  • A plurality of Americans (38%) say the federal government’s top priority should be getting more people vaccinated, rather than providing booster shots (28%) or sending vaccines to developing countries (19%).
  • Support for school masking mandates has increased slightly, with 70% saying they support them, compared with 69% in mid-August.
  • More Americans are getting tested for COVID-19, with 58% of respondents saying they have been tested, up from 52% in August.
  • Support for childhood vaccination is up but is still lukewarm, with 44% of respondents saying they were “very” or “somewhat” likely to get their child vaccinated when it’s available for the child’s age group, compared with 38% in mid-August.