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Americans Question Whether ‘Peaceful’ Woodstock Is Possible Today

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Woodstock festival billed itself 50 years ago as three days of peace, love and music. Other than three accidental deaths, it lived up to its billing despite rainy weather and a near total lack of support facilities. Most Americans aren’t sure it would play out that way these days.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that only 35% of American Adults think 400,000 people could gather peacefully today for a Woodstock-like music festival. Forty-five percent (45%) say they could not. Nineteen percent (19%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This is an even more pessimistic view than Americans had on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock in 2009 when 39% said 400,000 could gather peacefully for such a festival and just 34% disagreed.

Twenty-one percent (21%) of Americans say they know someone who went to the original Woodstock festival in rural downstate New York.

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The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on August 12-13, 2019 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.

Support for more gun control has jumped to its highest level ever, but a sizable majority of voters also agree that it won’t stop all mass shootings like the recent ones in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Senior citizens are not surprisingly the most likely to know someone who went to the original Woodstock festival. They’re also the most skeptical that a similar peaceful gathering could be held today.

Forty-one percent (41%) of adults under 40 think 400,000 people could gather peacefully for a Woodstock-like festival, but just 23% of those 65 and older agree.

Whites are more doubtful than blacks and other minority Americans.

Americans with children living with them are slightly more optimistic about a modern-day Woodstock than those without kids in the home.

In a survey five years ago, most Americans had a favorable impression of the so-called Baby Boomer generation born between 1946 and 1964, but they were less enthusiastic about the generation’s impact on America.

The Oxford English Dictionary named “toxic” as the word of the year for 2018 because of its increased usage in the context of the environment, politics and in connection with the #MeToo movement. Americans are torn over whether the word should have received the honor but agree that politicians and the media have contributed to a toxic culture.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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