Is there really a war on Christmas? That’s a question at the center of debate each year, especially when stories take center stage about atheists fighting to remove nativities and other religious imagery.
But what do Americans actually believe on the matter? As it turns out, a new survey from Fairleigh Dickinson University found the belief that Christmas is under attack has “grown significantly” and is “bigger than ever.”
Overall, 37% of Americans believe politicians are attempting to ax religious components from the holiday season. This proportion is up from 29% who said the same in 2013, according to a university press release.
Another indicator that tides are shifting is the weakening of the proportion of Americans who outright reject the notion that there’s a war on Christmas. More than half of Americans (54%) said they strongly disagreed with this idea when asked in 2013, but that proportion dwindled to 37% in the most recent poll.
The three groups driving this perspective swing are Republicans, Trump supporters, and Hispanics. Among Republicans, belief that there has been “a concerted effort on the part of some politicians to take ‘Christ’ out of ‘Christmas,'” is up to 66% from 40% in 2013.
But other political indicators abound. Seventy-one percent of people who voted for former President Donald Trump believe in the war on Christmas dynamic, compared to just 14% of those who voted for President Joe Biden.
Trump has long spoken about the war on Christmas, encouraging fans and followers to ditch “Happy Holidays.”
“I’m a good Christian. If I become president, we’re gonna be saying Merry Christmas at every store,” he said in 2015. “You can leave ‘happy holidays’ at the corner.”
Trump has claimed victory in this arena, which some have scoffed at, though the polling does show some intriguing shifts in perspective among his base.
Perhaps the most surprising rise in those who believe politicians are trying to remove Jesus from Christmas comes among Hispanic Americans, with that proportion swelling from 9% in 2013 to 39% in the latest survey.
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