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61% Still Think U.S. Should Celebrate Columbus Day

Monday, October 10, 2011

Christopher Columbus is still generally regarded as the explorer who “discovered” America, and most Americans think the United States should remember him with a holiday. But they don’t rate Columbus Day, celebrated officially today, very high on the list of U.S. holidays.

In fact, just 13% of American Adults consider Columbus Day one of the nation’s most important holidays. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 38% view it as one of the least important holidays, while nearly half (48%) regard it as somewhere in between the two.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

That’s in keeping with surveys since October 2007, as is the finding that 74% of Americans hold at least a somewhat favorable view of the Italian explorer. This includes 26% with a Very Favorable opinion of him. Just 17% regard Columbus unfavorably, with five percent (5%) who share a Very Unfavorable view.

Sixty-one percent (61%) feel America should still honor Columbus with a national holiday. Twenty-five percent (25%) disagree and see no need for Columbus Day. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided. These findings, too, are little changed from surveys over the past couple years.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on October 5-6, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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