November 26, 2008 - New Yorkers Are Suffering And Will Spend Less This Year, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; The Tree Is The Top Holiday Attraction

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Fifty-six percent of New York City voters say they are worse off financially than they were a year ago, with 24 percent who are better off and 19 percent who are the same, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. That includes 54 percent of white voters, 54 percent of black voters and 61 percent of Hispanic voters who say things got worse.

Only 28 percent expect their personal finances to get better in the next year, with 23 percent who expect them to get worse and 43 percent who say they will stay the same, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Only 22 percent of whites say things will get better, compared to 37 percent of blacks and 33 percent of Hispanics.

A total of 49 percent of voters say their finances are "excellent" or "good," while 49 percent say they are "not so good" or "poor." A total of 62 percent of whites, 40 percent of blacks and 35 percent of Hispanics say their finances are "excellent" or "good."

They will spend less on gifts this holiday season, 58 percent of New York City voters say. That includes 49 percent of white voters who are cutting back, compared to 62 percent of black voters and 65 percent of Hispanics. And 41 percent say that because of the economy, they've changed plans for a holiday trip and decided to stay in the City. Only 27 percent of whites say they have cancelled a holiday trip, compared to 51 percent of blacks and 55 percent of Hispanics.

"It's a blue, blue Christmas in New York this year, with people feeling the economic pain, buying less and cutting back on holiday travel," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD. "The economic pain is being felt especially by blacks and Hispanics.

"But blacks and Hispanics are much more optimistic than whites that things will get better."

Holiday Activities

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 15 percent of New York City voters say 'The Tree' is their favorite thing to do or see in New York during the holidays. Other choices include:
  • 12 percent say Rockefeller Center;
  • 11 percent list visiting family and friends;
  • 9 percent choose shopping;
  • 8 percent say decorations/lights/displays;
  • 7 percent say Radio City Music Hall;
  • 5 percent say Fifth Avenue window displays.
Seven percent of New Yorkers plan to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade in person, while 52 percent plan to see it on television.

"In tough economic times, it's good to know there are things to do in New York City for the cost of a subway ride, as long as people can still afford the subway ride," Dr. Schwartz said.

From November 18 - 23, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,594 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed - http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582- 5201.

17. Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Excellent             4%     5%     4%     5%     7%     3%     1%
Good                 45     58     44     44     55     37     34
Not so good          34     29     34     39     29     39     43
Poor                 15      5     17     11      8     21     20
DK/NA                 1      2      1      1      1      -      1
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Excellent             3%     4%     7%     2%     5%     5%     3%
Good                 34     42     50     50     48     50     41
Not so good          40     39     26     32     39     33     36
Poor                 22     14     14     14      6     11     18
DK/NA                 1      1      2      1      3      1      2
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Nov 26  Feb 27
                     2008    2003
 
Excellent             4       5
Good                 45      45
Not so good          34      35
Poor                 15      13
DK/NA                 1       2
 
 
18. Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Better off           24%    25%    23%    24%    22%    26%    22%
Worse off            56     51     58     54     54     54     61
SAME(VOL)            19     22     18     22     23     20     16
DK/NA                 1      2      -      -      1      -      1
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Better off           21%    25%    24%    24%    23%    28%    20%
Worse off            60     54     55     58     53     52     59
SAME(VOL)            17     20     20     18     24     19     20
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      -      1      1
 
TREND: Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?
                     Nov 26  Feb 27
                     2008    2003
 
Better off           24%     31
Worse off            56      44
SAME(VOL)            19      23
DK/NA                 1       2
 
 
19. During the next 12 months, do you think your own personal finances will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Get better           28%    27%    27%    32%    22%    37%    33%
Get worse            23     18     24     22     28     17     16
Stay the same        43     50     44     38     45     41     46
DK/NA                 6      6      5      8      5      5      5
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Get better           32%    28%    26%    27%    30%    29%    27%
Get worse            24     24     27     19     19     23     23
Stay the same        37     42     41     48     48     43     42
DK/NA                 7      7      5      6      4      5      7
 
TREND: During the next 12 months, do you think your own personal finances will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                     Nov 26  Feb 27
                     2008    2003
 
Get better           28%     38%
Get worse            23      11
Stay the same        43      49
DK/NA                 6       3
 
 
31. What is your favorite thing to do or see in New York City during the holiday season?
                                   Tot
 
Tree (Rockefeller Center)          15%
 
Rockefeller Center/general         12%
 
Visit friends & family             11%
 
Shopping                            9%
 
Decorations/Lights/Displays/general 8%
 
Radio City Music Hall/general       7%
 
Fifth Avenue window displays        5%
 
Theater/general                     3%
 
Skating (Rockefeller Center)        3%
 
Cultural events                     2%
 
Restaurants                         2%
 
Museums/Metropolitan                2%
 
Central Park                        2%
 
Enjoy the people/Christmas spirit   1%
 
Parade/Macy's                       1%
 
Sightseeing/general                 1%
 
St Patrick's Cathedral/Churches     1%
 
OTHER                               4%
DK/NA                               7%
 
TREND: What is your favorite thing to see or do in New York City during the holiday season?
                              Nov 26  Nov 17  Dec 2   Dec 4
                              2008    2006    2003    2002
 
Decorations/Lights/
 Displays/general              8       9       7       6
 
Fifth Avenue window displays   5       5       5       3
 
Rockefeller Center/general    12      17       8      13
 
Tree (in Rockefeller Ctr)     15      16      19      15
 
Skating (in Rockefeller Ctr)   3       2       2       2
 
Theater/general                3       2       1       5
 
Lincoln Center/Ballet/Opera/
 Concerts/Cultural events      2       1       1       3
 
Radio City Music Hall/
 general concerts              7       6       3       4
 
Manhattan/general              -       -       1       3
 
Shopping                       9       7       7      10
 
St Patrick's Cathedral/
 Churches                      1       1       3       1
 
Visit friends & family         11      7       8       5
 
Enjoy the people/
 Christmas spirit/Giving        1      2       1       3
 
OTHER                           4      6      10       6
DK/NA                           7      8      13       7
 
 
32. Thinking about your Thanksgiving holiday celebration this year - Do you plan to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade in person, on television, or don't you plan to watch the parade this Thanksgiving?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
In person             7%     6%     7%     6%     7%     5%     7%
On television        52     56     52     51     48     53     57
Don't plan to watch  40     37     39     42     44     41     33
DK/NA                 2      1      1      2      1      1      3
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
In person             7%     7%     9%     6%     1%     6%     7%
On television        56     45     48     58     67     48     55
Don't plan to watch  34     46     43     35     31     44     36
DK/NA                 2      2      -      1      1      2      2
 
TREND: Thinking about your Thanksgiving holiday celebration this year - Do you plan to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade in person, on television, or don't you plan to watch the parade this Thanksgiving?
                     Nov 26  Nov 17  Nov 21  Nov 22  Nov 26
                     2008    2006    2005    2004    2003
 
In person             7       8       8       9       7
On TV                52      55      49      49      47
Don't plan to watch  40      35      41      39      44
DK/NA                 2       2       2       3       2
 
 
33. Thinking about this holiday season, do you plan to spend more on gifts this year than last year, less on gifts or about the same as last year?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
More                  4%     7%     3%     5%     3%     4%     6%
Less                 58     46     60     55     49     62     65
Same                 36     44     35     38     47     29     26
DK/NA                 3      3      2      3      1      5      3
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
More                  6%     4%     4%     2%     2%     5%     3%
Less                 61     58     56     57     55     53     62
Same                 29     35     38     38     42     41     32
DK/NA                 4      3      2      2      -      2      3
 
TREND: Thinking about this holiday season, do you plan to spend more on gifts this year than last year, less on gifts or about the same as last year?
                     Nov 26  Nov 17  Nov 26
                     2008    2006    2003
 
More                  4      14      11
Less                 58      24      32
About the same       36      58      53
DK/NA                 3       5       4
 
 
34. Because of the economy, have you changed your plans for a holiday trip and decided to stay in the city?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Yes                  41%    26%    45%    35%    27%    51%    55%
No                   56     71     52     62     70     45     42
DK/NA                 3      3      3      3      3      3      3
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Yes                  49%    44%    33%    43%    35%    41%    41%
No                   47     53     64     54     63     55     56
DK/NA                 3      3      4      3      2      3      3