NEW YORK – As the long, hazy days start to get shorter and crisper, most Americans give summer 2005 a thumbs-up, according to a FOX News poll.
Almost one in five (19 percent) say their summer has been "excellent" and an additional 49 percent say "good." One quarter rate their summer as "only so-so" and 6 percent have had a "bad" summer.
Opinion Dynamics Corporation (search) conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News on August 30-31, before the extent of devastation due to Hurricane Katrina (search) was fully apparent.
Married people are 10 percentage points more likely than those who are unmarried to say their summer has been excellent. And along political lines, Republicans are the most likely to give this summer high marks, as 25 percent say it has been excellent compared to 16 percent of Democrats and 19 percent of independents.
By 48 percent to 29 percent, Americans say this summer their friends and neighbors were more likely to complain about gas prices than about the summer heat. Another 17 percent say they heard an equal amount of grumbling about both prices at the pump and the heat.
Complaints about gas prices were loudest in the Western region of the country, where twice as many Americans say their friends complained about gas prices as say summer heat (55 percent and 25 percent respectively).
What about getting away from the daily grind? Of those employed, 44 percent say they use all of the vacation time they are given, but 35 percent say they usually have vacation days left over at the end of the year.
"There have always been comments on how hard Americans work compared to people in other countries," comments Opinion Dynamics Chairman John Gorman. "The fact that over a third of the public say they don’t use all of their vacation time simply confirms that many people simply feel they can’t afford to be away from their jobs as long as they are entitled to be."
Compared to other areas, Midwesterners are best about taking advantage of their vacation, with almost half (49 percent) saying they use all their days off and less than a third (30 percent) saying they don’t.
A small minority of employed respondents (14 percent) admits to checking in with the office once or more a day while on vacation and 16 percent say they check in a few times a week, but 59 percent are true vacationers — they don’t check in with the office at all.
• PDF: Click here for full poll results.