Watch CBS News

The Battle Over Daylight Saving Time; 'The Change Is Deeply Unpopular'

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) -- With the country seemingly divided on so many issues – there's one that most Americans seem to agree on. According to a recent poll, 70% of Americans want to get rid of jumping back and forth between standard and daylight-saving time. Just pick one.

But there's more at stake than just the changing of the clocks.

"The change is deeply unpopular and different interests want us to either be on permanent standard or permanent daylight-saving time," said Professor of Political Science at University of Texas in Dallas, Thomas Gray.

Gray has spent hours studying the issue.

"The businesses and the interests that benefit from standard time are what we would call early riser businesses," said Gray. "And when we say business, we can also mean other kinds of operations like schools... like farmers in the agriculture industry, which tends to be early rising."

Medical professionals also say the early light that comes with standard time better aligns with our internal clocks and sleep. Studies show it can improve cardiac function, cut down on obesity as well as alcohol consumption.

"Our health does better they argue, when our time awake better matches the time of sunlight. And we spend less time of the day in darkness," said Gray.

But Gray says businesses like retail and restaurants benefit from daylight saving time which has more daylight hours in the evening.

"If you get off of work and you know that there's only about an hour of sunlight and warmth left, you're more likely to go home," said Gray. "If you know that there's two hours left, you're more likely to say, go out to get something to eat, go out, to shop at a mall," he continued. "That extra amount of time of sunlight and warmth encourages shopping, eating out retail and personal action businesses right now. That's interesting because those are also the things getting decimated by the coronavirus."

At least six states have enacted legislation opting for daylight savings as their permanent time. But it requires an act of congress to make it final.

And when it comes to congress agreeing, it could take some time.

"I suspect that when we get on the other side of the coronavirus, God willing, there'll be a coalition to form around one of those two options."

According to poll by the associated press, 40% of people prefer standard time to 30% that prefer daylight saving time. The other 30% just want things left alone.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.