The wonderful folks at Public Policy Polling, known partly for their creative/not-terribly-useful polls, are out today with a look at America's attitudes toward Christmas, including belief in Santa Claus. Nearly half of Americans do believe in Santa, by the way — and no group more so than older, liberal Latina women.
There's lots of interesting data in the poll. For example, 47 percent of Americans think the "War on Christmas" is nonsense — almost all of whom aren't Republicans. There's a lot of other stereotype reinforcement, too: Republicans are more adamant about using "Merry Christmas" in lieu of "Happy Holidays;" liberals are less likely to think Santa is white.
But speaking of Santa! Belief in St. Nick's existence has plunged over the course of 2013. Last year's PPP poll found that 52 percent of Americans believe in him. Now, that's down to 43 percent. (War on Christmas!) But the poll also lets us see a portrait of the group most likely to believe.
Here's how belief breaks down by demographic. Percentages indicate the portion of the group that does believe.
|Demographic||Most likely group|
|Gender||Female, 51 percent|
|Ethnicity||Latino, 54 percent|
|Age||46 to 65, 47 percent|
|Party||Democrat, 49 percent|
|Philosophy||Very liberal, 54 percent|
|2012 vote||Third party or don't remember, 50 percent|
Who is this 46-or-older Latina that is Democratic and very liberal? Well, Salma Hayek — who is 46 and raised a lot of money for President Obama last year. (How does that fit with the person described above, who voted third party or doesn't remember? We'll assume that Hayek forgot her vote.) Also, "Salma" and "Santa" are eerily similar.
Before the scolds start scolding: No, this sort of extrapolation is not statistically relevant. But you probably don't believe in Santa, either.