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Is There a War on Christmas? Conservatives and Republicans Think So

61% of Conservatives Say There is a War on Christmas


The American public is evenly divided on the existence of a War on Christmas, with about the same number of people believing that one exists as not. There is, however, quite a bit more division and disagreement in the various demographic groups in America. A majority of Republicans and Conservatives believe that a War on Christmas exists while similar majorities of Democrats and liberals reject the notion.

Belief in a War on Christmas is also much more popular in the South than in the Northeast as well as among older Americans than among younger Americans. None of these patterns should be surprising because they match closely with a variety of other conservative religious, cultural, and political opinions.


Politics and the War on Christmas

In December, 2011, Public Policy Polling conducted a survey for Daily Kos and SEIU on the attitudes of registered voters regarding a variety of subjects. With a margin of error of ±3.1%, they asked people whether they thought a 'War on Christmas' exists or not:

  There is a 'War on Christmas' There is not Not sure
Democrat 22% 54% 24%
Republican 58% 27% 15%
Independent/Other 38% 45% 17%
Liberal 21% 68% 11%
Moderate 29% 52% 19%
Conservative 61% 18% 21%
Tea Party 71% 16% 13%
Non Tea Party 22% 60% 17%

I don't think anyone will be surprised at the political differences here. It's predictable that belief in a War on Christmas is so much more popular among Republicans than Democrats and among conservatives than liberals. It's noteworthy, though, that the belief is more popular among conservatives than Republicans and most popular among Tea Party members than among every other group.

One question that comes to mind is whether the popularity of belief in a War on Christmas among Tea Party members stems from their more conservative political beliefs or whether it's a product of the tendency towards conspiracy beliefs which seems to be prevalent in that group. Then again, perhaps its a combination of both factors.


Geography of the War on Christmas
  There is a 'War on Christmas' There is not Not sure
Northeast 38 39 24
Midwest 38 43 20
South 45 39 16
West 35 50 15

I also don't think that anyone will be surprised at the fact that belief in a War on Christmas is more popular in the South than in other regions of the United States. I am, however, a little surprised that the differences aren't larger.

A state-by-state breakdown would be very interesting here — I suspect that we'd find the highest rates of belief across the Bible Belt and the states which were once part of the Confederacy.


Age and the War on Christmas
  There is a 'War on Christmas' There is not Not sure
18 to 29 29% 50% 21%
30 to 45 39% 47% 14%
46 to 65 43% 39% 17%
Older than 65 40% 35% 25%

The differences between various age groups is also no surprise. It's predictable that younger people will recognize that changes in American culture are part of a growing religious, ethnic, and racial diversity rather than the product of a conspiracy against Christians or Christianity. I would also expect people in the younger age groups to approve of and participate in those change.

The biggest question may be whether these lower rates will continue as these groups age or if they become more conservative over time. When it comes to many other issues people grow more conservative as they grow older, but that's not the case with every social, political, or cultural issue.

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