The public is divided on how President George W. Bush (search ) will fare on Santa's list this year, but when it comes to them personally, it's much clearer, as most Americans think St. Nick will be smiling when he comes to their house.
A FOX News poll finds a 43 percent plurality thinks Santa Claus will rate President Bush as "nice" this year and 40 percent think he'll be in the "naughty" column. Republicans (78 percent) are more than four times as likely as Democrats (18 percent) to think the president will be rated as nice. On the flip side, fewer than one in 10 Republicans think Santa will rate Bush as naughty, while almost seven in 10 Democrats think so.
Last year, nearly half of Americans (46 percent) put the president on Santa's nice list and 31 percent on the naughty list.
Personally, Americans overwhelmingly think Santa will appraise them as nice with fully 80 percent rating themselves positively, up 7 percentage points from last year. Fewer than one in 10 say they will get a "naughty" rating (9 percent), down from 12 percent in December 2003.
Among those most likely to think they will be rated as nice: 87 percent of Republicans, 84 percent of those with a college degree, 83 percent of those married and 82 percent of women.
Men are more than twice as likely as women to say they will land on Santa's "naughty" list (13 percent and 5 percent respectively), and twice as many Democrats as Republicans put themselves in that category (12 percent and 6 percent).
Opinion Dynamics Corporation (search ) conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News on December 14-15.
The poll also shows there is widespread agreement that if schools recognize Jewish religious symbols such as the menorah, they should also be required to recognize Christian symbols such as the nativity scene (82 percent support).
In addition, just over half of Americans (51 percent) think the Christian symbols of Christmas, such as the nativity, are more under attack this year than in the past, 20 percent say less under attack and 17 percent volunteered the response "same as always."
More than six in 10 Bush voters think Christian symbols are more under attack this year, as do 58 percent of Southerners and 57 percent of seniors.
Looking Ahead to 2005
What are people looking for in 2005? Money sure seems to be at the top of the list.
By 42 percent to 34 percent Americans say they would rather have more money than more free time in the new year, with 20 percent giving the unprompted reply "both." When choosing between saving money and losing weight, 55 percent say they would rather save money, 29 percent lose weight and 13 percent "both."
Americans are almost five times as likely to say they would rather find a new job than a new spouse or partner in 2005, but a 52 percent majority says "neither." Only 2 percent say they would like to find both a new job and a new spouse next year.