Almost one-half of North Carolinians prefer changing to year-round Daylight Saving time.

Published November 2, 2023

By High Point University Poll

The latest High Point University Poll finds that nearly a majority of poll respondents (46%) prefer changing to year-round daylight saving time. That would mean a later sunrise and more daylight in the evening. This is a similar finding to a March 2023 poll when we set clocks ahead.

Only 21% of poll respondents would prefer an earlier sunrise and less daylight in the evening or changing to standard time. Another quarter (25%) said they would prefer to keep the current system of switching between standard time and daylight saving time, which is set to end at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5.

“Daylight Saving Time was adopted for hypothesized energy savings during World War I,” said Dr. Daniel Hall, economist and dean of the Phillips School of Business. “The energy savings benefits have been difficult to prove and the United States has become less energy-intense per dollar of GDP. Tenuous benefits have diminished while the coordination and switching costs have increased, and national conversations on daylight saving are taking place. For example, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has reintroduced a bipartisan supported bill that will keep most of the health, safety, leisure, productivity and consumer benefits of daylight saving by making it year-round while removing the coordination and switching costs if it passes nationwide.”

Founding Dean of HPU’s School of Nursing Dr. Racquel Ingram adds that the shift in time for daylight saving can impact the body’s natural cycle.

“Switching between daylight saving time and standard time can impact the body’s circadian rhythm, altering both physical and mental health,” said Ingram. “Specifically, there is an increased risk of sleep pattern disturbance leading to fatigue, depression, heart attacks and other issues. These health concerns are typically more prominent during the first few weeks of the time change. Therefore, advance preparation is highly recommended to adjust physically and mentally.”

NC residents – Daylight Saving Time (October 2023)

Currently in most of the country clocks are set forward by one hour in the spring, called daylight saving time, and are set back by one hour in the fall, to standard time. Which of these do you prefer – change to year-round daylight saving time (later sunrise, more daylight in the evening), change to year-round standard time (earlier sunrise, less daylight in the evening), keep the current system?

Change to year-round daylight saving time – 46%

Change to year-round standard time – 21%

Keep the current system – 25%

Unsure – 9%

HPU Poll 98 was fielded by the High Point University Survey Research Center on Oct. 19 through Oct. 29 as an online survey using a panel of respondents recruited and maintained by Dynata. Dynata sent invitations to its panel of N.C. respondents and the SRC collected 1,000 responses on its Qualtrics platform. The SRC did all data analysis. The online sample is from a panel of respondents, and their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classic margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.1 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.1 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race/ethnicity and education based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional errors into the findings of opinion polls.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past surveys can be found at the Survey Research Center website. Materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative.

Dr. Martin Kifer, chair and associate professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald is the associate director of the HPU Poll.