December 6, 2017
Around this time of year, most Americans exchange a “Seasons Greetings,” a “Happy Holidays,” a “Happy Channukah,“ a “Happy Kwanza,” or a “Merry Christmas” with family and friends. However, this December, U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed a distinct preference for one of those expressions.
Two months ago, Trump, a Christian himself, told a crowd of supporters that “we’re saying Merry Christmas again” this year, now that he is president, according to a report by The Hill.
“We’re getting near that beautiful Christmas season that people don’t talk about anymore. They don’t use the word Christmas because it’s not politically correct,” he said on October 13, in comments before the Values Voter Summit
Now, a YouGov Omnibus research poll of 7,063 American adults questioned on November 29 reveals that nearly one-quarter of Americans (24%) believe that people are more likely to say “Merry Christmas” this year than in past years—and none hold this thought more strongly than the president’s own Republican party.
Two groups in particular are responding to the president’s call to make the holidays about Christmas again, The Hill says: Republicans (47%) and those over the age of 55 (32%) lead other respondents when it comes to thinking that people are “more likely” to say “Merry Christmas” this year.
However, the president is defending a religion that is slowing slipping from the majority. A survey released in September by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that, today, just 43% of Americans identify as white and Christian. By comparison, 81% of Americans identified as white Christians in 1976.
Predictably enough, the diverse general public is less enthusiastic about the “Merry Christmas” greeting: Just 24% say that people will be “more likely” to use it this year than any other. Democrats and older Millennials between the ages of 25 and 36 are the least likely (16%) to think that there will be more Christmas greetings this year.
A majority of respondents nationwide (47%) still think that people are just as likely to use a less controversial seasonal greeting this year. That includes more than a third of Republicans (35%), but Democrats (56%) lead in this sentiment.
Few (14%) say that people actually will be “less likely” to wish someone “Merry Christmas” this year.
Research contact: Hoang.Nguyen@YouGov.com