Broad, bipartisan support for state-mandated public mask usage

Newsy/Ipsos poll: Nearly half in favor of national shutdown, while majority prefer states to enact COVID-19 restrictions

The author(s)

  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sara Machi Research Analyst, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, December 3, 2020

The latest Newsy/Ipsos poll reveals the overall popularity of mask mandates, with most reporting mask usage around community members. Political differences emerge regarding support for a nationwide shutdown and business closures, but state-level, rather than federal level, decisions and mandates are more popular across the board. As for the recent presidential election, a majority agree that President Trump should concede, and most of President-elect Biden's top priorities are popular overall -- albeit with deep partisan divides.  

1. Most Americans support federal funding for COVID-19 testing and state mask mandates, but there are mixed feelings about another round of shutdowns.

  • A strong majority (88%) of Americans support government funding to expand COVID-19 testing and make it free of charge, including 81% of Republicans, 95% of Democrats, and 85% of Independents. 
  • Likewise, 73% want guidelines for mask usage, business/school closures, and shutdowns to be made at the state level, rather than the federal level. 
  • Slightly more Americans would support a state, rather than a federal, law requiring mask-wearing in public at all times (72% and 69%, respectively).
  • Americans are split evenly on whether they support or oppose a mandatory nationwide shutdown (49% support, 51% oppose). A slim majority (56%) favor their state temporarily closing all restaurants and non-essential businesses. There are deep divides at the partisan level, though. Republicans are significantly less likely to support their state temporarily closing non-essential businesses or a mandatory, nationwide shutdown. 

2. Even though most Americans report wearing a mask often or always around people in their community, there are differences based on political affiliation and area where they live. 

  • More than three-quarters (78%) of Americans report always or often wearing a mask around community members. This includes majorities across parties and residential areas. 
  • Overall, 49% say they always/often wear a mask around close friends, and 39% do so around family members outside of their household. While a majority of Democrats report often or always wearing a mask around these groups, far fewer Republicans and Independents are doing the same. Similarly, Americans who live in an urban environment are more likely than those in a suburban or rural community to report often or always wearing a mask around these groups. 
  • Moreover, Republicans are more likely than Democrats and Independents to have gathered with those outside their household for Thanksgiving and are more likely to report plans to do the same for the December holidays. 

3. A majority of Americans support most of President-elect Biden's policy priorities that he has said he'll enact on day one. However, this support is driven largely by Democrats; there are deep partisan divides. 

  • Sixty-three percent and 55% of Americans support rejoining the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Agreement, respectively.
  • Fifty-nine percent support reinstating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but less than half (45%) think that the travel and immigration ban on people from 13 primarily Muslim or African countries should be repealed. Still, more support repealing the travel ban than oppose. 
  • For each of these, Democrats are at least two times more likely than Republicans to express support. 
  • Additionally, most (61%) think President Trump should concede the election, with a majority of Democrats (78%) and Independents (60%) supporting this, compared with fewer than half of Republicans (43%). 

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos/Newsy poll conducted between November 30 - December 2, 2020. For this survey, a sample of 2,009 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample includes 757 Republicans, 910 Democrats, and 219 independents

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2018 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=2,009, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/4.0 percentage points).

This poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points for Republicans, plus or minus 3.7 percentage points for Democrats, and plus or minus 7.6 percentage points for independents.


For more information on this news release, please contact:

Mallory Newall
Director, US Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2014
[email protected]

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations Specialist, US Public Affairs
+1 718 755-8829
[email protected]


About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research 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).

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The author(s)

  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sara Machi Research Analyst, Public Affairs

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