Tomorrow marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and many of President Kennedy’s words continue to ring true. Which of the president’s quotes do Americans feel is most meaningful today? More than six in ten — 62% — think, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” is most relevant. More than one in five — 22% — believes the most meaningful quote from President Kennedy is, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.” “The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans — born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace” receives 7% while another 7% say, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,” is the most memorable. Three percent of Americans are unsure.
Regardless of age, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” is considered to be the most evocative John F. Kennedy quote. 72% of Americans 60 and older, 63% of those 45 to 59, and 57% of those 30 to 44 have this view. Even a plurality of those under the age of 30, 47%, say the same. Among this age group, one-third — 33% — reports that “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate” is the most relevant quote by John F. Kennedy.
And, when it comes to Kennedy’s legacy, most Americans say, fifty years from now, Kennedy will be remembered for his assassination and not his accomplishments while in office. More than seven in ten adults nationally — 71% — report Kennedy’s death will be his legacy while 24% think the president’s initiatives will be thought of as the highlight of his administration. Five percent are unsure.
Nearly Six in Ten Think JFK Assassination was a Conspiracy
58% of Americans believe Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone when he shot and killed President Kennedy. 28% think only one person was involved, and 14% are unsure. Americans under the age of 30 — 67% — are more likely than any other age group to say that Kennedy’s assassination was a conspiracy. This compares with 54% of those 30 to 44, 57% of Americans 45 to 59, and 59% of those 60 and older.
How did Americans older than 54 years old find out about Kennedy’s death? Television was the source for 35%. 27% heard from a teacher while 19% heard the news over the radio. Five percent were told by a friend or neighbor, and an additional 5% heard from a colleague at work. A family member was the first source of information for 4% of Americans older than 54 while 3% heard the tragic news from a stranger. One percent learned the news from the newspaper while an additional 1% found out in another way. One percent is unsure.
September 11th, Not Kennedy Assassination, Considered Most Significant Tragedy
When asked which tragic event was the most significant for people living at the time, nearly half of Americans — 49% — report the September 11th terrorist attacks were the most impactful event to have occurred. 36% report Pearl Harbor was the most significant while 13% report President Kennedy’s assassination was the most consequential. One percent says the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger was the most significant. Two percent are unsure.
Age plays a role. Younger Americans are the most likely to say September 11th was the most significant tragic event. Majorities of those under 30 — 57% — and those 30 to 44 — 53% — think September 11th had the most impact. Nearly half — 49% — of Americans 45 to 59 agree. However, among residents 60 and older, 41% think Pearl Harbor was the most significant event to occur while 40% have this impression of September 11th.
A gender gap exists. 55% of women think September 11th was the most significant. This compares with 42% of men who say the same. 41% of men, however, believe Pearl Harbor was the most tragic event to occur.
The annual tradition continues! Every year at The Marist Poll, the Institute asks Americans whether or not Dr. Lee M. Miringoff’s age is young, middle-aged, or old. This year, age 62 is on the block. So, what do Americans think? Nearly six in ten — 59% — think 62 is middle-aged. 28% believe the age is old while 13% say it’s young.
Have the tides turned for Dr. Miringoff? Well, there’s good news and bad news. First, the good news. There has been only a slight decline in the proportion of Americans who believe Miringoff’s age is middle-aged. Last year, 63% described 61 was middle-aged. As for the bad news, there has been an increase in the proportion of adults nationally who think Miringoff’s age is old. Last year, 22% said Miringoff’s, then, age of 61 was old. 15% of residents, at that time, reported age 61 was young.
Like last year, a lot depends on the age of Americans themselves. Among residents 45 and older, 64% think 62 is middle-aged. 19% believe it is young, and 17% say it is old. Looking at those under 45 years old. Half — 50% — report 62 is middle-aged. 45% consider the age to be old while only 5% say 62 years of age is young.
What are the top five myths about getting older? A new survey undertaken by Home Instead Senior Care and The Marist Poll highlights some surprising realities of aging.
For the results, click here.
Four in ten Americans — 40% — plan to ring in the New Year with promises to make 2013 better than 2012. Who are among those most likely to make a resolution? Americans who are younger than 45 years old — 51% — are more likely to promise to change than older residents — 34%.
60% of Americans are not likely to make a New Year’s resolution for 2013. Last year 62% said they did not plan to alter their lifestyle in any way, and 38% resolved to make a change. Fewer younger Americans plan to make a resolution compared with last year. At that time, 59% of those under 45 thought they would pledge to improve their lives and 28% of those 45 and older professed to do the same.
There is no difference between men and women on this question. 40% of men and the same proportion of women — 40% — report it is likely they will make a resolution for 2013.
Weight Loss Tips the Scales as Top New Year’s Resolution
Among Americans who plan to make a New Year’s resolution for 2013, 17% promise to lose weight. 13% say they will stop smoking while 10% would like to be a better person. Nine percent intend to spend less and save more money while 8% think they will exercise more.
Weight loss remains the number one New Year’s resolution. At that time, 18% said they would battle the bulge in 2012. 11% thought they would exercise more while 9% planned to save more and spend less. An additional 9% said they would stop smoking, and the same proportion — 9% — hoped to be a better person.
About Six in Ten Kept Their Word
Among adults nationally who made a New Year’s resolution for 2012, 59% kept their vow for at least part of the year. 41% did not. However, the proportion of Americans who kept their resolution has declined. 67% of those who made a resolution for 2011 stuck to it while 33% did not.
For the fourth consecutive year, Americans consider “whatever” to be the most annoying word or phrase in conversation. More than three in ten — 32% — have this view while “like” irritates 21% of residents nationally. 17% are most irked by “you know” while 10% would prefer to ban “just sayin’” from today’s lexicon. “Twitterverse” annoys 9% of adults while 5% are ticked off by “gotcha.” Five percent are unsure.
In last year’s survey, 38% thought “whatever” to be the most obnoxious word in casual conversation while 20% said “like” was the most irritating. 19% despised hearing “you know” while “just sayin’” was the most bothersome to 11% of Americans. “Seriously” made last year’s list with 7% reporting it was the most annoying word in conversation. Five percent, at that time, were unsure.
It’s becoming a holiday tradition of its very own. Once again, A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life battle it out as Americans’ favorite holiday movie. But, could little Ralphie be on his way to outdistancing himself from Capra’s classic?
According to this Marist Poll, 26% of adults nationally cite A Christmas Story as their favorite holiday movie. It’s a Wonderful Life is preferred by 24%. Miracle on 34th Street warms the hearts of 16% while 13% enjoy watching Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney croon in White Christmas. An additional 13% say A Christmas Carol is their favorite holiday flick, and 9% are unsure.
When Marist last asked this question in 2010, 24% of U.S. residents said It’s a Wonderful Life was their choice for classic holiday movie compared with 23% for A Christmas Story. Miracle on 34th Street received 22% while 13% said A Christmas Carol was their holiday staple. 12% most enjoyed White Christmas, and 5% were unsure.
There is an age gap. Nearly four in ten adults under 45 years old — 39% — currently prefer A Christmas Story while 31% of Americans 45 and older say It’s a Wonderful Life is their favorite holiday film.
While 29% of men choose A Christmas Story, there is less of a consensus among women. 24% of women most fondly think of It’s a Wonderful Life compared with 22% who feel the same about A Christmas Story.
Two Holiday Classics Tie for Favorite Animated Holiday Flick
Despite a new addition to the list, two traditional movies take top honors as Americans’ favorite animated holiday movie. Once again, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer – 24% — and A Charlie Brown Christmas — 24% — tie for first place. How the Grinch Stole Christmas – 19% — retains third place while a new addition this year, The Polar Express, follows with 11%. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town is the favorite animated holiday movie of 8% compared with Frosty the Snowman which is the pick of 6% of adults nationally. Seven percent are unsure.
When Marist last reported this question in December of 2010, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer – 26% — and A Charlie Brown Christmas – 26% — also vied for holiday ‘toon supremacy. One in four adults — 25% — chose How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Frosty the Snowman was picked by 9% while Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town sledded into the hearts of 8%. Five percent were unsure.
While more than four in ten residents under the age of 30 — 42% — view How the Grinch Stole Christmas as their favorite animated holiday movie, there is little agreement among the older generations. Among those 30 to 44, A Charlie Brown Christmas — 27% — and Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer — 25% — are the top selections. However, Rudolph — 28% — dashes to the head of the pack among those 45 to 59. A Charlie Brown Christmas — 27% — kicks a holiday field goal with those 60 and older.
More than any other disease, Americans are afraid of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. This is according to a survey by Home Instead Senior Care conducted by The Marist Poll.
To find out more, click here.
They say money can’t buy happiness, but can being thin? According to this NY1/YNN-Marist Poll, 72% of New York State adults think someone who is thin is happier than someone who is overweight. 13% disagree and report that a person who is overweight is happier, and 15% are unsure.
When it comes to success, the same proportion of New York State adults — 72% — report someone who is thin is more successful while 8% say those who are overweight are. One in five — 20% — is unsure.
Income makes a difference. Nearly eight in ten New Yorkers who earn $100,000 or more a year — 79% — say thin people are more successful. This compares with 72% of those who make between $50,000 and just under $100,000 annually and 69% who make less than $50,000 a year.
There is no age difference on this question. Regardless of age, more than seven in ten think someone who is thin is more successful than someone who is overweight.
How do New Yorkers perceive their own weight? 68% describe themselves as about the right weight for their size and age. 29% say they are overweight while only 4% think they are underweight.
Fast Food Fanatics? Six in Ten New Yorkers Pass
60% of adults in New York say they have not eaten in a fast food restaurant during the past week. One in four — 25% — visited a fast food joint at least one day last week, 7% have eaten a meal in such an establishment two days while 4% have dined at a fast food establishment three days. Four is the number of days reported by 2% of New Yorkers while just 1% has eaten at a restaurant similar to McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s five days during the last week. Two percent report eating at a fast food restaurant all seven days.
New Yorkers who report eating at a fast food restaurant in the past week did so on average of close to two days — 1.8 days.
Younger New Yorkers are more likely to have visited a fast food restaurant than older New Yorkers. 63% of New Yorkers under 30, 44% of those 30 to 44, 38% of residents 45 to 59, and 23% of those 60 and older have dined at this type of restaurant at least once in the past week.
68% of adults in New York City believe people driving cars are the cause of most accidents on city streets. Nearly one in five — 19% — thinks people riding bicycles are most at fault while 13% blame pedestrians.
While majorities of residents in the five boroughs think drivers are the cause of most accidents, more in Brooklyn — 74%, the Bronx — 70%, and in Queens and Staten Island — 67% — have this view compared with those in Manhattan — 59%. About three in ten adults in Manhattan — 31% — believe bicyclists are the greatest accident threat.
At what point is someone considered to be old? It’s an annual question the Marist Poll asks to determine if the current age of Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Insitute for Public Opinion, is young, middle-aged, or old. As Dr. Miringoff faces 61, there’s good news. According to this Marist Poll, 61 years of age is not that benchmark. More than six in ten adults nationally — 63% — believe someone who is 61 is middle-aged. 15% think 61 is young while 22%, however, say it is old.
Not surprisingly, there is an age gap. While 67% of Americans 45 and older say 61 is middle-aged, 20% believe the age to be young, and only 13% report it is old. Looking at residents younger than 45, 56% say 61 is middle-aged. Just 7% think that age is young while nearly four in ten — 37% — say it is old.