Reagan Day? More than 60% of Americans Just Say No

Erica Holloway Erica Holloway 5 Comments

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Feb. 4, 2011 – SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Happy Dutch Day? Nope, most Americans say they’d rather work.

More than 60 percent of Americans reject the idea of denoting 40th President Ronald Reagan’s birthday, February 6, as a federal public holiday.

The survey of 504 American adults was conducted between February 1-3, 2011 by Competitive Edge Research & Communication.

SEE POLL RESULTS: Reagan Birthday Holiday Analysis

Just days before the centennial of his birth, the survey shows support for the holiday somewhat split along party lines between Democrats and Republicans, with independents siding with Democrats in opposition.

Politics aside, the poll also finds more support for the holiday among lower income and younger Americans.

Currently, the United States Congress has established 11 federal holidays. Only the nation’s first president, George Washington, has received the honor of a federal holiday in his name, commonly called President’s Day.

“We expected more Republican support for a Reagan holiday and we found that,” said CERC President John Nienstedt (Neen-sted). “But the data blows away some stereotypical assumptions. We were surprised that opposition is solid among more affluent Americans and seniors, while lower income and younger residents are much more open to the idea. “

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Illinois in 1911 and died in 2004 in California at the age of 93. He graduated from Eureka College, where he studied economics and sociology, in 1932.

President Reagan served in the Oval Office from 1981 to 1989. He began as a radio sportscaster followed by a career in TV and motion pictures and became President of the Screen Actors Guild. Before his presidency, Reagan served as California’s 33rd Governor from 1967 to 1975.

Reagan also served in the Army Enlisted Reserve from 1937 to 1945.

President Barack Obama established the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration Commission in 2009 to manage the related festivities.

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  1. This morning I saw a few stories on Reagan, including recollections from Nancy Reagan (remembering with tears in her eyes the assassination attempt) and staff members such as Art Laffer recalling the human side of the President. There were also highlights of a few of his many amazing speeches, quips (still the best one from Nancy re: the assassination – “Honey, I forgot to duck,” and analysis of his policies and impact on the world – including comparisons to what is happening now in Egypt. He was an amazing man and an unbelievable force. He stood for something, which is why he was able to achieve so much and create the following that has endured for so long.

    The problem is that so many throw his name out as their idol and try to attach themselves to the Reagan brand that it has become diluted. Without intending to disrespect anyone, I would venture to say that 99% of the people who claim they are like Reagan and want people to think they are like Reagan are not like Reagan. Because of this overexposure reaction nowadays to his name is often met with a blase response.

    Nancy has always been extremely protective of her husband and his good name, but she cannot control the use of his name by so many across the country. To protect the Reagan brand and ensure it retains its impact into the future, perhaps GOP organizations around the country could provide guidance to candidates, elected officials, volunteers and others on how best to use the Reagan name?

  2. The issue is pretty clear to me. If we have another FEDERAL holiday, it will be honored the way MLK day is honored — GOVERNMENT employees get the day off — but not people in most of the private sector.

    The irony here is delicious: Republicans pushing to honor their great President by giving millions of government employees another day off.

    Ask yourself this question — would Ronald Reagan WANT such a holiday — a holiday in his honor that likely would enrich govt employees and cost taxpayers a billion or more annually?

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    Richard: I think your argument supports the demographic breakdown of the poll results. More affluent, older Americans disagreed with the notion perhaps due to the taxpayer cost burden.

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