Politicians blamed for orchestrating ‘war’ on Christmas

 A sign above the Nativity display near the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

A sign above the Nativity display near the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

A new poll finds a growing perception that politicians are behind the “war on Christmas.”

Nearly half of Americans surveyed in the latest Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind Poll believe politicians are trying to strip the holidays of a Christian influence.

That’s up from the 28 percent of people who felt that way two years ago, said poll director Krista Jenkins.

“Even though Starbucks bore the brunt of the criticism this year with its plain red holiday cups, it looks like the public is also unhappy with the behavior of politicians,” she said.

The poll also found definite opinions on holiday greetings.

“We asked whether or not, people prefer ‘merry Christmas’ over ‘happy holidays,’ and we find that when in doubt, go Christmas,” she said. “Americans prefer that over the more generic version by a more than two-to-one ratio.”

Most of those responding to the poll are not enthusiastic about mixing politics with holiday gatherings.

“Sixty percent would avoid conversations about the 2016 presidential election with only a third who say they would enjoy talking politics with family and friends,” Jenkins said. “Men are more likely to embrace political discussions, and Democrats are more likely to avoid these discussions than Republicans.”

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