Many expect their fortunes to improve in new year
WASHINGTON — Large number of Americans see 2013 as anything but a banner year and aren't reluctant to wave goodbye on New Year's Eve, an AP-Times Square poll says, reflecting anxiety stretching from the corridors of power in Washington to corporate boardrooms, statehouses, and city and town halls.
Although the poll shows that people generally are looking forward to the new year with optimism and no blatant sense of foreboding, it also unmasks pent-up worries about international crises and instability, and concerns at home about the standard of living, health care and schools.
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 percent say 2013 was a better year for them than 2012, while 20 percent say it was worse and 46 percent say the two years were about the same. Young people were more apt to see improvement: 40 percent of people younger than age 30 called 2013 a better year than 2012, compared with 25 percent of people 65 or older.
• The public splits evenly on how the year turned out for the country, with 25 percent saying it was better than 2012, and 25 percent saying it was worse. As with most questions about the state of affairs in the United States these days, there's a sharp partisan divide. Democrats are more apt to say the country turned out better in 2013 than 2012 (37 percent) than are Republicans (17 percent).
• Thinking about the world at large, 30 percent say 2013 was worse than 2012, while just 20 percent say it was better.
• But the outlook for the new year is positive: 49 percent think their own fortunes will improve in 2014; 14 percent are anticipating the new year to be a downgrade from the old. Thirty-four percent say they don't expect much to change.
Where's the party?
• Most Americans — 54 percent — 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 percent say they'll go to a bar, restaurant or other organized event.
• Younger Americans are least apt to spend the holiday at home: 39 percent of those younger than age 30 will celebrate at home, 33 percent at someone else's home, 13 percent 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.
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 percent 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 percent 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 percent cite their pets, 3 percent God, Jesus or their religious congregation, and less than 1 percent said they wanted to ring it in with their co-workers.
• Of course, some opt out altogether: 18 percent say they're not planning to celebrate on New Year's Eve, and 9 percent say there's no one with whom they'd like to party, preferring instead their pillow, TiVo or their own thoughts.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Shutdown looms as House rejects Homeland Security funding
- Foreign government gifts to family charity present candidacy hurdle for Hillary Clinton
- 8 shot to death, including gunman, in Missouri rampage
- Hackers won’t take break if DHS shuts down, officials warn
- Republicans try to jump-start food stamp reforms
- Russian threat via cyber on the rise, says U.S. intelligence assessment
- Cuts curtail IRS customer service
- Gas leak responsible for house blast that injured 15 in New Jersey
- White House won’t snub pro-Israel lobby
- Impasse over funding for Department of Homeland Security likely will go to wire
- Heavy snow cuts power, snarls travel across South