Whether you prefer “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” depends largely on what region of the country you come from, a new poll published Wednesday by statistics site 538 reveals.
Not surprisingly, the Northeast states were overwhelmingly in favor of the more inclusive “Happy Holidays,” but the region that came in second place was the South, perhaps best known as the last refuge of the “Bible Belt.” More southerners prefer “Happy Holidays,” but it was a close result.
The regions of the country that preferred the more traditional “Merry Christmas” were the western states, including California and the Midwest, which was much more devoted, with 11 percent more residents choosing the nominally Christian option.
Although there was a strong regional component to the study, partisan lines were more likely to predict whether or not a voter has a preference for either holiday greeting.
Republicans nationwide were more likely to oppose “Happy Holidays,” and Democrats were much more supportive of the phrase. Surprisingly, Republicans as a whole were less supportive of “Happy Holidays” than Evangelical Republicans, possibly signaling that Republican opposition is primarily out of a disdain for political correctness than religious preferences.
Morning Consult published a study last Monday reporting the overall population largely supported “Merry Christmas” more than “Happy Holidays.” Sixty-six percent of voters supported the former, compared to 61 percent who supported the latter. The information came from two separate questions, revealing some overlap of people who are “okay” with either phrase.
The survey from 538 included 1,056 respondents, and ran from Dec. 4 through Dec. 12. The article didn’t publish a margin of error for the study.
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