What Are Americans Looking Forward to in 2014?
Pew recently polled 1,005 Americans about several events coming up in 2014. In addition to asking if they were awaiting a particular event, Pew broke down responses by political ideology — fitting for an election year. Respondents were asked if they were “especially looking forward” to five events: the midterm elections, the Winter Olympics, the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, and the soccer World Cup. See which events piqued the interest of Americans and how partisan divides come into play.
1. Election Day
When asked about the upcoming midterm elections, 51 percent of respondents said they are looking forward to November, while 49 percent said they are not. A greater share of Republicans (63 percent) are eagerly anticipating Election Day than are Democrats (53 percent).
A 60/48 percent split between Republicans and Democrats occurred when Pew asked the same question leading into the 2010 midterm elections. Republicans saw congressional election victory in 2010 and are hoping to post strong results this year. The midterm elections will take place on November 4.
2. Winter Olympics
The Olympic Games are the overall winner, with 58 percent of those polled looking forward to the event. Democrats are slightly more likely to be excited about Sochi than Republicans, 65 percent versus 61 percent, respectively. Independents brought the average down, with only 54 percent responding that they had special interest in the games.
The Winter Olympics are being held in Sochi, Russia, and the games will take place February 7-24. This is the 22nd time the winter games will be held, and they are estimated to be the priciest Olympics ever at more than $50 billion.
3. Super Bowl XLVIII
The teams haven’t yet been decided, but 55 percent of Pew respondents are already anticipating the game, while 44 percent are not. At 62 percent, Republicans are more likely to be excited about the Super Bowl. This figure declined to 55 percent for Democrats and 49 percent among independents.
Super Bowl XLVIII will be held outdoors, on February 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell has already expressed apprehension over hosting the game in a cold-weather city after this year: ”Will we look at other Super Bowls in cold-weather sites? I think we’ll wait and make that evaluation later.”
4. Academy Awards
What aren’t Americans excited about? The Academy Awards. Seventy-five percent of respondents said they were not especially waiting for the Oscars to take place. Leading the pack in terms of interest were Democratic respondents, at 36 percent. Support from Republicans and independents was much lower, at 21 and 20 percent, respectively.
The 86th Academy Awards will take place on March 2, and the nominees will be announced on January 16. On May 16, 1929, the first Oscars were held, and Wings won for Outstanding Picture.
5. World Cup 2014
The other event people in the United States aren’t holding their breaths for is the World Cup. Republicans (18 percent) were the least likely to be looking forward to the soccer World Cup. Anticipation was slightly higher for Democrats and independents, both posting 23 percent.
Brazil is hosting the World Cup this year, and play begins in June. The finals will be held on July 13. The U.S. is in Group G, along with Germany, Ghana, and Portugal. The first match for the U.S. is against Ghana on June 16.