Poll: 71% support ending Saturday postal delivery

The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service has announced that it will drop Saturday mail delivery starting in August. Nancy Cordes reports on what's next for America's second largest civilian employer.

By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto, and Fred Backus

The U.S. Postal Service announced last week that it may end Saturday delivery of mail, but would continue to deliver packages. Most Americans support this proposal.

Seven in 10 favor ending Saturday deliveries of first class mail as a way to help the USPS solve its financial problems. Only 24 percent are opposed. A similar question asked in June of last year was met with the same level of support.

Majorities across all age and income groups support ending Saturday delivery of mail, but those with lower household incomes less than $50,000/year are less likely (64 percent) than those earning more than $100,000/year (87 percent) to support that. Both Republicans (75 percent) and Democrats (67 percent) favor ending mail delivery on Saturday

Just 34 percent of Americans say they use the U.S. Postal Service all the time, for all their correspondence and bills, but another 38 percent use it sometimes, mainly for bills. Ten percent use post office services only around the holidays, and 18 percent say they almost never use it. The percentage who almost never use the U.S. Postal Service has more than doubled since last year (7 percent said "almost never" in June 2012).

There are differences by age: Americans under 30 are the least likely to use post office services, and in fact, 30 percent say they almost never do. But among those ages 65 and over, nearly half (47 percent) use the post office all the time, for all their correspondence and bills.

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This poll was conducted by telephone from February 6-10, 2013 among 1,148 adults nationwide. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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