Hoping this isn’t Groundhog Day? Maybe we fear a repeat of …

Movie Groundhog Day Bill Murray Sorry, this actually is Groundhog Day. Do you remember the 1993 movie by the same name? Bill Murray, a self-centered meteorologist covering Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, PA, repeats the day over and over again.

Like Murray in the movie, most Americans hope the previous decade—the Noughties—doesn’t repeat itself. The ‘00s were the worst, compared to any decade in the last 50 years, according to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in December 2009. (Scroll down to read yesterday’s post.)

Why are Americans so sour on the Noughties? Was the past decade really the worst ever? Let’s look into the data.


First of all, negative evaluations of the Noughties didn’t differ across demographic groups or along political lines. Not many clues there. So, let’s look at what Americans think are the decade’s most important events. Do you agree with this ranking, based on the poll?

The 9/11 attacks were far and away considered the most important event of the ‘00s: over half (53%) gave this event the top spot, according to the poll.

The election of Barack Obama was a distant runner-up—only 18% cited it as the most important event.

Third place? The 2008 financial meltdown (12%).

The last three places are the lection of George W. Bush (6%), the War in Iraq (5%), and Hurricane Katrina (3%).

I’m curious: Do you agree with this ranking? Would you place 9/11 as the most important event?

How would you rank these events?


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