CNN, the TV network and internet news gatherer, put a poll out over Presidents’ Day weekend asking if the cent should be eliminated. While not scientific, with over 140,000 responses, the results were that about 60 percent favor the coin’s demise.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, a solid 60 percent favored elimination. A dozen hours later on Sunday, Feb. 19, the tally stood like this:
Yes, 85,729, or 59 percent
No, 58,434 or 41 percent
This is not the first time that polls have been taken about the cent’s future.
In the spring of 2006, America on Line took a similar poll among its 24 million users and more than 180,000 people responded, splitting 50-50 on whether or not the cent should be continued.
In June 2006, a USA Today/Gallup Poll saw 55 percent of Americans say the “penny” is “useful” and should be kept. A total of 1,002 adults were surveyed June 9-11, 2006. Although a majority, the percentage in favor of the 1-cent coin was down from earlier surveys. In 1993, 64 percent of those polled by ABC News called the cent useful. A 1990 Gallup survey saw the number at 66 percent.
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Clearly the cent is in play, but whether it is those polled, Congress or the Treasury Department that will demand action remains open to question at least for another year when a formal report will be made to Congress by the Mint regarding potential future coin compositions.