Sept. 14, 2021 -- About 60% of American voters back vaccine mandates for federal employees and private businesses, according to the results of a new poll.
The support was split along party lines, with Democrats in favor of mandates and Republicans opposed. Independents, meanwhile, largely supported the mandates, according to the Axios-Ipsos poll.
“From a political perspective, [President Joe Biden] especially reinforces himself with independents,” Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, said in a statement.
“The No. 1 issue for Biden has been COVID, and he’s been losing ground on it, especially among independents,” he said. “This is an initiative that could help bolster him there.”
Last week, Biden announced new vaccine requirements for federal employees and businesses with 100 or more workers. After the announcement, Ipsos asked 1,065 Americans two questions: Do you support the federal government requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19? And do you support a federal government rule that requires all businesses with 100 or more employees to make all staff be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID testing?
The responses were nearly the same for both questions. About 42% of people strongly supported both, while 18% somewhat supported both. About 14% somewhat opposed both and 26% strongly opposed both.
About 84% of Democrats voiced support for both questions, as compared with 60% of independents and 30% of Republicans.
The split occurred based on location as well. About 70% of urban residents supported the mandates, compared with 60% of suburban voters and less than half of rural voters.
Pollsters also asked what the federal government should focus on right now in its COVID-19 vaccine policies. About 38% said the government should redouble its efforts to get the remaining 75 million unvaccinated Americans inoculated. Nearly half of the vaccinated respondents shared this opinion, as compared with 10% of unvaccinated respondents.
About 28% said the government should prioritize booster shots for every American who wants one. And 19% would prioritize making shots available to people in low-income countries.
Few respondents said they had face vaccine requirements at work, though that’s starting to change. About 25% said their employer requires employees to be vaccinated, as compared with 16% in mid-August.