Pew poll: Most Americans approve of plan to halt Saturday mail delivery

February 14, 2013
(Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg)
(Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg)

Most Americans approve of the U.S. Postal Service’s decision last week to end Saturday mail delivery, according to a Pew Research poll released Thursday.

The poll found that 54 percent of Americans support the five-day delivery plan, while 32 percent disapprove of it. It also showed that the change garners bipartisan support, with at least 50 percent of Democrats, Republicans and independents supporting it.

For years, lawmakers have rejected the Postal Service’s call to end Saturday mail, adding language in its spending bills that prohibit the agency from delivering less than six days a week.

Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe’s decision to move forward with five-day delivery looks like an attempt to circumvent Congress’s long-standing resistance the plan, which the Postal Service thinks will save about $2 billion annually. The agency lost $15.9 billion during the last fiscal year.

The Pew poll found “substantial racial differences” in opinions about the proposed change. It showed that 55 percent of African Americans oppose the Postal Service’s decision, making that the only major demographic group in which a majority disapproves.

Sixty-one percent of white Americans support the plan, according to the poll.

Pew also found that 67 percent of Americans who have heard a lot about the plan support it, and 56 percent of those who have heard a little about the action approve of it. However, 60 percent of those who have heard nothing about the decision disapprove of it.

 

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Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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