America’s birthday will look very different this year – with more than 60% of us staying home and avoiding gatherings with others. That’s the finding of new Harris Poll data released today as the country heads into the holiday weekend.
While citizens remain divided on issues of race, politics and culture, we are united as ever on the importance of celebrating American history and freedom:
- “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is still alive in America: When asked about the relevance of this section of the Declaration of Independence, 69% agree that the historical sentiment is alive today, including 75% of Republicans and 67% of Democrats.
- Americans say the Fourth is “important”: In an age of rising tensions, 78% of adults consider the Fourth of July to be an important holiday to them, their family and the community. When asked to identify the root of the holiday’s importance, the top reasons are “celebrating our history” (60%), being “grateful to live in America” (54%) and “an opportunity to have some fun” (49%).
- Americans need some optimism: Desperate for a reprieve, 59% of Americans said they were “very” or “somewhat” excited for the Fourth of July this year. Asked why they’re excited: 54% say they like watching fireworks – even though most will do so only on TV – and 51% say “we need something to look forward to right now.”
- Most won’t be gathering with others: Just 39% said they would be attending or hosting a social event or gathering for the holiday – and most of them in homes – while 61% will avoid gatherings altogether due to concerns about COVID-19. A full 25% said they had “no plans” for celebrating.
- Most of us will follow safety protocols: Two-thirds (66%) of Americans say they feel safe celebrating the Fourth of July this year – with younger generations (68% Gen Z/Millennial and 72% Gen X versus 60% Boomers, 61% Seniors) feeling the safest. Nearly all (94%) of those attending social gatherings say they will follow at least some COVID-19 safety protocols this weekend.
“Though celebrations will look quite different, Americans are looking forward to a weekend of happiness and a short reprieve from the weight of the pandemic and social unrest,” said John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll. “This weekend also has us thinking more than ever about summer vacations – and road trips seem to be on everyone’s mind.”
Could this be the summer of the “Great American Road Trip”? Americans think road trips are the safest way to travel right now.
- Road trips rule: Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say that, because of COVID-19, they’ll be taking more road trips. The latest Harris Poll research also finds summer travel plans are picking up, with nearly a third (29%) of Americans say they will travel in the next four months.
- Hotels over house sharing: Americans say hotels are safer than an Airbnb. More than three in five Americans (65%) say that, in terms of sanitation practices, they think that staying at a hotel is a safer option than staying at an Airbnb or other vacation rental. Americans also indicate they are more comfortable at a hotel (55%) than at an Airbnb or other vacation rentals (42%).
- Safety is important: Overall, Americans believe that “hotels have implemented enough new cleaning procedures to protect against the virus” (61%) and that “hotels have done enough to reassure me that staying at a hotel will be safe” (60%).
The Harris Poll research was fielded June 26-29 across a representative sample of Americans.