Americans continue to approve of Biden’s handling of the pandemic, even as concerns start to recede

New ABC News/Ipsos poll finds more Americans believe public health measures such as mask mandates are being loosened too quickly

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, March 7, 2021

A new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds that even as American concern about the coronavirus wanes, most believe public health restrictions, like mask mandates or limits on public gatherings, are being loosened too quickly. However, opinions on re-opening schools and businesses are more mixed, reflecting the public’s desire to return to a semblance of normalcy. As the country navigates the hoped-for end of the pandemic, two-thirds of the American public continue to approve of the way Joe Biden is handling the coronavirus response.

1. Two-thirds (68%) of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the pandemic.

  • Support for Biden breaks clearly along partisan lines with virtually all Democrats (98%) approving compared to only a third (35%) of Republicans. However, that compares favorably to the last ABC/Ipsos poll asking about former President Trump’s handling of the pandemic when 79% Republicans approved compared to only 4% of Democrats.

2. Concern about being infected with the coronavirus is down from last fall. However, most Americans believe public health restrictions are being lifted too quickly, reflecting continued support for measures to limit the pandemic.

  • Just under three-quarters (72%) of Americans are very or somewhat concerned about being infected with the coronavirus, down from 78% in October and 89% in April of 2020.
  • A majority of Americans say that mask mandates (56%) and restrictions on public gatherings (50%) are being loosened too quickly. The remainder are split roughly equally between believing these rules are being relaxed at the right pace or too slowly.
  • Attitudes on re-opening schools and businesses are more split with roughly a third on each believing it is happening too quickly, at the right pace, or too slowly.


3. Over a quarter of American adults (28%) report receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. Another 15% have tried to schedule an appointment but have not been able to receive a shot yet.

  • Among those who have or have tried to get the vaccine, about half (48%) describe the process of finding and registering for the vaccine appointment to be very or somewhat difficult.

About the Study

This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted March 5 to March 6, 2021 by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 521 general population adults age 18 or older.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population.

The study was conducted in both English and Spanish. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, and party identification. The demographic benchmarks came from 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) from the US Census Bureau. Party ID benchmarks are from recent ABC News/Washington Post telephone polls. The weighting categories were as follows:

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–29, 30–44, 45–59, and 60+)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Other or 2+ Races Non-Hispanic, Hispanic)
  • Education (High School graduate or less, Some College, Bachelor and beyond)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)
  • Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
  • Party ID (Democrat, Republican, Independent, Something else)

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.8 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.25. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent. 

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs