A Gallup poll out yesterday asked: “As you may know, the U.S. Postal Service is anticipating billions in losses this year. Please tell me whether you would strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose each of the following as a way to help the Postal Service solve its financial problems.”
Of the three options available, the respondents went 63-36 percent in favor of ending Saturday delivery. An even larger number, 67-31 percent, favored closing post offices on Saturday. Meanwhile, a majority, 57-41 percent, opposed raising stand prices.
The pollster noted:
Gallup has asked about possible solutions to the Postal Service’s financial woes previously — in 2009 and 2010 — and has consistently found majority support for reducing the number of days mail is delivered, regardless of the precise question wording. Previous versions of the question on reducing mail delivery days did not specify elimination of Saturday mail delivery, as the Postal Service is now proposing.
Majorities have also favored reducing the number of days post offices are open, while a majority has consistently opposed increases in stamp prices. In January, the post office raised the price of a stamp for a first-class letter to 46 cents, the third increase in three years.
Republicans are more likely (69 percent) to back ending Saturday delivery, though a majority of Democrats (56 percent) support it as well.
Interestingly — and contrary to conventional wisdom — one of the group most supportive of ending Saturday delivery is seniors 65 years and older (70 percent) while people 18-29 are among the least supportive, with only 48 percent backing it.
For background on the Postal Service’s financial woes, read my column yesterday “Going Postal Over Reform” and these follow-up blogs on why postal unions oppose ending Saturday delivery and how their claim that Congress is requiring the service to fund retirement health benefits 75 years into the future is bogus.