Axios-Ipsos poll: Biden's free COVID tests and masks are popular, but they're not helping him

  • In Politics
  • 2022-01-25 10:00:53Z
  • By Axios

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Two new Biden administration initiatives - mailing at-home COVID-19 tests to those who ask and making free N95 masks available - are hugely popular, each backed by 84% of Americans in the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Yes, but: Those who may need these most - the unvaccinated - are less likely to take advantage of the offerings, the survey found. And neither has boosted President Biden's numbers so far, meaning it's too little too late, or too soon to see a change.

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  • Our poll also found that Americans who have gotten the vaccine are mostly satisfied with their protection - but less satisfied with their ability to return to their lives.

What we're watching: 13% of U.S. adults in our latest survey either said they tested positive for, or believe they got, the virus in the past month. That's important because it's about twice the share in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, says Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson.

  • While officials know there are people getting COVID who haven't been tested, the true number is difficult to pinpoint. This 13% finding is up from 10% measured in the last wave two weeks ago. We'll ask the question again in our next poll in early February.

  • If the numbers hold up, it "shows just how widespread the Omicron variant of the pandemic has become" and "just how fast it's burned through the country," Jackson said. "That's like one in eight Americans, over a month."

What they're saying: "Omicron has highlighted the unfulfilled promise of the vaccines," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.

  • Young said half of Americans don't expect to return to their normal lives for a year or more, if ever.

By the numbers: 44% of U.S. adults surveyed said they'd already ordered free tests through the government portal. That included half of vaccinated respondents, but just one in five unvaccinated people.

  • 46% say they trust Biden to provide them with accurate information about the virus. That share is essentially unchanged since last October.

  • 81% said they're either very satisfied (46%) or mostly satisfied (35%) with the vaccine's protection from their developing serious illness or dying.

  • 77% are either very (48%) or mostly (29%) satisfied that they've felt no notable side effects from the shots.

  • Though 72% say they are satisfied overall with the vaccines protecting them from catching COVID-19, only 27% were in the "very" satisfied camp.

  • Just 61% say they're satisfied overall that the vaccines are allowing them to return to something like their normal pre-COVID routines. And only 18% say they're "very" satisfied.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Jan. 21-24 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,085 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.


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