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

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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