Americans put themselves on Santa's "nice list," but they aren't so sure about Trump

December 21, 2018, 3:00 PM GMT+0

Americans (59% to 41%) think Santa is a Democrat

Are you naughty or nice? This Christmas holiday, Americans who celebrate the season (83% of all Americans) overwhelmingly believe Santa would put them on his “nice” list. But in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll they are not at all sure that President Donald Trump would join them there.

The naughtiest Americans? The young, especially young men. One in four under the age of 30 say they would end up on Santa’s naughty list, compared with less than 10% of all those 45 and older. And there is a gender difference, too. More than a third of men under the age of 45 say they’d be called “naughty” by Santa Claus. Fewer than one in five younger women think they would. Those who live in small towns say they are better-behaved than either those in big cities or in rural areas. As for politics, that doesn’t seem to matter.

Of course, as in pretty much every other poll question these days, Republicans and Democrats think differently. By three to one, Republicans put Donald Trump on Santa’s nice list, while nearly all Democrats think he is “naughty.” Among the small group that says they personally would fall into the “naughty” category, 83% say Trump belongs there with them.

The partisan figures are reversed when Americans are asked about Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Republicans say he’d be on Santa’s naughty list, while Democrats disagree. Just as younger adults are more likely to think of themselves as being on Santa’s naughty list, younger adults are far more likely than older ones to call both Trump and Mueller “naughty.” Younger Republicans are more likely than older ones to say that about Trump, while younger Democrats are more likely to think that of Mueller.

Americans (59% to 41%) think Santa is a Democrat. Nearly all Democrats (96%) think he’s one of them; Republicans are less convinced he belongs to their party. 79% of Republicans say Santa is one of them, but one in five disagree and say he belongs across the partisan aisle. Republicans who say Santa is a Democrat are far more likely to say he would put the President on his naughty list.

Although nine in ten adults who celebrate Christmas admit they believed in Santa Claus at one time in their lives, Santa Claus doesn’t necessarily figure into their holiday celebrations this year. About half say he plays an important role and half don’t.

Having children matters when it comes to Santa’s importance at Christmastime. Just over a third of those who have never had children say Santa plays an important role in their Christmas festivities. But more than half of those who have had children, and two-thirds of those whose children currently are under the age of 18, say this.

But children lose faith in Santa at some point, and the age at which they stop believing in him may be dropping.

The average age adults in our poll said they stopped believing in Santa Claus was 11; the average age parents say their children stopped believing was 10. Still, the vast majority of both adults and children have believed in Santa at some time. 89% of adults have believed, 86% of parents say their children have.

Santa and I both wish you the best this holiday season – and a Happy New Year, too!

See the full toplines and tables results.

Photo: Getty