Poll: Americans hopeful for a better 2014 as they recall important, memorable moments of 2013 - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Mainly Sunny
-5.2°C

Poll: Americans hopeful for a better 2014 as they recall important, memorable moments of 2013

Graphic shows selected results of 2014 New Years Eve poll; 2c x 11 inches; 96.3 mm x 279 mm;
December 26, 2013 - 6:47 AM

WASHINGTON - Ready to ring in the new year, Americans look ahead with optimism, according to a new AP-Times Square New Year's Eve poll. Their ratings of the year gone by? Less than glowing.

What the public thought of 2013:

GOOD YEAR OR GOOD RIDDANCE?

On the whole, Americans rate their own experience in 2013 more positively than negatively, but when asked to assess the year for the United States or the world at large, things turn sour.

—All told, 32 per cent say 2013 was a better year for them than 2012, while 20 per cent say it was worse and 46 per cent say the two years were really about the same. Young people were more apt to see improvement: 40 per cent of people under age 30 called 2013 a better year than 2012, compared with 25 per cent of people age 65 or older.

—The public splits evenly on how the year turned out for the country, 25 per cent saying it was better than 2012, 25 per cent saying it was worse. As with most questions about the state of affairs in the U.S. these days, there's a sharp partisan divide. Democrats are more apt to say the U.S. turned out better in 2013 than 2012 (37 per cent) than are Republicans (17 per cent).

—Thinking about the world at large, 30 per cent say 2013 was worse than 2012, while just 20 per cent say it was better.

But the outlook for the new year is positive: 49 per cent think their own fortunes will improve in 2014, 14 per cent are anticipating the new year to be a downgrade from the old. Thirty-four per cent say they don't expect much to change.

WHERE'S THE PARTY?

Most Americans — 54 per cent — say they'll be ringing in the new year at home, while 1 in 5 are heading to a friend's or family member's house. Only 8 per cent say they'll go to a bar, restaurant or other organized event.

—Younger Americans are least apt to spend the holiday at home: 39 per cent of those under age 30 will celebrate at home, 33 per cent at someone else's home, 13 per cent at a bar or other venue.

—Regardless of their own time zone, nearly 6 in 10 say they'll watch at least some of the celebration from New York City's Times Square.

COUNTDOWN COMPANIONS

Wherever they're spending the holiday, most Americans prefer the company of family. Asked with whom they want to be when the clock strikes midnight, 83 per cent name a family member.

—On a holiday often sealed with a kiss, nearly 4 in 10 say they most want to be next to their spouse, and 13 per cent cite a significant other or romantic interest as a preferred companion. Parents like to be with their children, more than the children like to be with their parents.

—Less conventional choices: 2 per cent cite their pets, 3 per cent God, Jesus or their religious congregation, and less than 1 per cent said they wanted to ring it in with their co-workers.

—Of course, some opt out altogether: 18 per cent say they're not planning to celebrate on New Year's Eve, and 9 per cent say there's no one with whom they'd like to party, preferring instead their pillow, TiVo or their own thoughts.

WHAT MATTERED IN NEWS

The implementation of the health care law topped the list of the most important news stories of 2013, with 26 per cent citing it. In an Associated Press survey of news directors and editors, 45 of 144 journalists surveyed called the health care rollout their top story.

In the AP-Times Square poll, the death of Nelson Mandela occurred as the poll was underway. It rose quickly, with 8 per cent naming it as the most important news of the year, matching the share citing the federal government's budget difficulties or shutdown.

The budget fight, which led to a partial shutdown of the federal government in October, was rated extremely or very important by 60 per cent of Americans, and prompted rare bipartisan agreement. About two-thirds in each major party, 65 per cent of Republicans and 63 per cent of Democrats, rated it highly important.

A majority said the Boston Marathon bombings were extremely or very important, and 47 per cent considered the national debate over gun laws that important.

POP CULTURE: MOSTLY FORGETTABLE MOMENTS

Miley Cyrus's MTV Video Music Awards performance. The launch of "Lean In." Apologies from Paula Deen and Lance Armstrong. Walter White's exit and the entrance of the Netflix series "House of Cards." What do they all have in common? More Americans say these pop culture moments were more forgettable than memorable.

Just one pop culture moment was deemed more memorable than forgettable: The birth of Prince George to Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate.

—Among men, 64 per cent called the debate on work-life balance sparked by the book "Lean In" and other writings forgettable. About half of women agreed.

—About 1 in 5 younger Americans said the launch of original programming through streaming services like Netflix or Hulu was a memorable moment, about doubling the share among those age 50 and up.

—Residents of the West were more likely than others to consider memorable the San Francisco "Batkid" (31 per cent) or the final season of the series "Breaking Bad" (19 per cent).

The AP-Times Square New Year's Eve Poll was conducted by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications from Dec. 5-9 and involved online interviews with 1,367 adults. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. The poll is a co-operative effort between AP and the organizers of the Times Square New Year's Eve Celebration, the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment. The Alliance is a non-profit group that seeks to promote Times Square, and Countdown Entertainment represents the owners of One Times Square and the New Year's Eve Ball Drop.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, a probability-based Internet panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. Respondents to the survey were first selected randomly, using phone or mail survey methods, and were later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn't otherwise have access to the Internet were provided with the ability to access the Internet at no cost to them.

___

Online:

AP-GfK Poll: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com

Times Square NYC: http://www.timessquarenyc.org

___

Follow Jennifer Agiesta on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/JennAgiesta

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

  • Popular kamloops News
  • Comments
  • Fatburger franchise location for sale in Kamloops
    There's a chance Kamloops could be home to a Fatburger restaurant. A Fatburger franchise location is for sale in the city, according to a listing on businessnesforsale.com. The n
  • New mountain highway proposed between Red Deer and Kamloops
    An Alberta development group is pitching the idea of a new highway linking central Alberta to B.C. cutting through the mountains and a section of Banff National Park. The Central Alberta Eco
  • Kamloops firefighter back at work after co-workers saved his life
    Four months after his co-workers saved his life, a Kamloops firefighter is back at work. Mike Silva has been working with Kamloops Fire Rescue for 15 years and was enjoying some time off in
  • Pier 1 closing all of its stores in Canada
    Pier 1 Imports, Inc. announced today that it has entered into bankruptcy protection and is pursuing a sale. The retailer  commenced voluntary Chapter 11 proceedings in the U.S. Bankrupt
  • Vernon family captures mesmerizing melting ice
    A Vernon family was on their way home from Kelowna when they made a pit stop after noticing a beautiful scene along Wood Lake. Matthew Royal and his daughters noticed how “cool”
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile