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-Regardless of their own time zone, nearly 6 in 10 say they'll watch at least some of the celebration from New York City's Times Square.
Wherever they're spending the holiday, most Americans prefer the company of family. Asked with whom they want to be when the clock strikes midnight, 83 percent name a family member.
-On a holiday often sealed with a kiss, nearly 4 in 10 say they most want to be next to their spouse, and 13 percent cite a significant other or romantic interest as a preferred companion. Parents like to be with their children, more than the children like to be with their parents.
-Less conventional choices: 2 percent cite their pets, 3 percent God, Jesus or their religious congregation, and less than 1 percent said they wanted to ring it in with their co-workers.
-Of course, some opt out altogether: 18 percent say they're not planning to celebrate on New Year's Eve, and 9 percent say there's no one with whom they'd like to party, preferring instead their pillow, TiVo or their own thoughts.
WHAT MATTERED IN NEWS
Asked to name the most important news story of the year, 26 percent of Americans cited the implementation of the health care law. That story also came out on top in an Associated Press survey of news directors and editors, in which 45 of 144 journalists surveyed called the health care roll out their top story.
In the AP-Times Square poll, the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela occurred as the poll was underway. It rose quickly, with 8 percent naming it as the most important news of the year, matching the share citing the federal government's budget difficulties or shutdown.
A separate question asked respondents to rate the importance of several news stories for them personally. The budget fight, which led to a partial shutdown of the federal government in October, was rated extremely or very important by 60 percent of Americans, and prompted rare bipartisan agreement. About two-thirds in each major party -- 65 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of Democrats -- rated it highly important.
A majority said the Boston Marathon bombings were extremely or very important, and 47 percent considered the national debate over gun laws that important.
POP CULTURE: MOSTLY FORGETTABLE MOMENTS
Miley Cyrus's MTV Video Music Awards performance. The launch of "Lean In." Apologies from Paula Deen and Lance Armstrong. Walter White's exit and the entrance of the Netflix series "House of Cards." What do they all have in common? More Americans say these pop culture moments were more forgettable than memorable. (continued...)
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