A new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll says more Americans believe there is a “war on Christmas” this holiday season than in years past.
In the national survey of 802 registered voters, conducted Nov. 9-16, 37% of respondents agreed that politicians are trying to remove Christianity from the winter holiday season, up from 29% in 2013.
“The ‘War on Christmas’ narrative is appealing because it lets Christians lay a claim to victimhood,” Dan Cassino, a Farleigh Dickinson government and politics professor who directed the poll, said in a statement. “If you’re part of a group that’s been dominant for hundreds of years, movements towards equality tend to feel like discrimination.”
The poll also found that the percentage of Americans who “strongly disagree” that there is a war on Christmas declined from 54% in 2013 to 37% today.
A university press release attributed the shift to “Republicans, Trump supporters, and, surprisingly, Hispanic Americans.”
While belief among Democrats and independents did not change significantly over eight years, 66% of Republicans now agree there is a war on Christmas, up from 40%.
More than half of evangelical or “born again” Christians believe in a war on Christmas, compared to 29% of those who don’t hold those religious views.
The university reported that the best predictor of belief in the war on Christmas turned out to be vote choice in the 2020 presidential election.
While 71% of those who voted for Donald Trump in 2020 agree there is a war on Christmas, just 14% of Biden supporters did so. Additionally, 51% of Trump voters “strongly agree” with the sentiment.
“Trump made this claim a centerpiece of his Presidential campaigns and in the speeches he gave at rallies,” Mr. Cassino said.
Among Hispanic and Latino voters, just 9% said in 2013 that they agreed with the idea of a war on Christmas and 1% agreed strongly. Today, 39% of Hispanics think there is a war on Christmas, and 25% “strongly agree” with the statement.
The survey credits modern American belief in a war on Christmas that seeks to remove Jesus Christ from the annual Dec. 25 celebration of his birth to a 2005 book by a Fox News contributor who former Fox host Bill O’Reilly featured on his program.
The English-language poll was conducted via telephone and cellphone text. Of the 802 respondents, 416 responded via the TTW platform, 128 completed interviews via landline telephones, and 280 responded by typing responses on their cellphones.
The weighted poll of registered voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence interval.