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What do Americans think of the eclipse?

Solar eclipse
What you need to know about the solar eclipse 01:29

By Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna and Anthony Salvanto

Later this month, the U.S. will experience a total solar eclipse, a rare occurrence, and most Americans are interested in possibly trying to get a glimpse of it.

Sixty-eight percent are interested enough in the eclipse to say they plan to or may try to see it, including a third who are excited about it. Three in 10 say they won't be paying much attention to it.

CBS News polling

Women are more interested than men in witnessing the eclipse. Older Americans are less curious about it than those who are younger. The last total eclipse was 38 years ago so this month's eclipse may be a first for some younger Americans. Unlike 1979, this year's eclipse can be seen from coast to coast.

The eclipse will start in the western U.S. and move across the country over the Midwest and then some of the South.  Southerners are a bit more likely than those in other regions of the country to be excited about the eclipse. 


This poll was conducted by telephone August 3-6, 2017 among a random sample of 1,111 adults nationwide.  Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA.  Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. 

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone. 

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. 

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. 

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.


Q57a. On August 21st, some of the U.S. will experience a total solar eclipse where the moon will block the sun.  How do you feel about the eclipse?

Total %

Excited and plan to see it 


Interested and may try to see it


Probably won't pay much attention to it 


Don't know/No answer


Total respondents: 1,111; Margin of error: 4 pts.

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