March 30, 2012 at 17:50 PM EDT
Americans For Common Cents: 66% of Americans Favor Keeping the Penny

A poll released today by Americans for Common Cents (ACC) shows overwhelming support for the penny by the American public. Over two-thirds (67%) of those surveyed favored keeping the penny in circulation.

"These results confirm the strong and unwavering support the penny continues to receive from America," said Mark Weller, Executive Director of ACC. Weller's group includes more than 50 organizations that support continued production of the penny. "Americans understand that eliminating the penny would lead to a rounding process and cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in higher prices.”

In an Economic Action Plan, Canada recently announced it will eliminate the Canadian penny from their coinage system. According to Weller, Canada’s decision to remove its lowest denomination coin will have little impact on the US penny. Congress has already asked the US Mint to make recommendations later this year on how to make US coins less expensively. Congress and the Administration will likely wait for the Mint recommendations, especially in an election year when the public is sensitive to price issues.

“Suggesting that eliminating the penny saves money is wrong,” Weller said. The Mint has stated publicly that it takes almost a dime - 11 cents - to make every nickel. “From a budget standpoint, it’s hard to see how you save money by eliminating the penny and making more costly nickels,” Weller added.

The Opinion Research poll found that over three-quarters of those surveyed (77%) were opposed to rounding cash transactions fearing merchants will raise prices rather than lose pennies and round down. "The alternative to the penny is rounding – something that Americans abhor," Weller said.

The poll results showed that:

  • Over two-thirds of adults (67%) favor keeping the penny in circulation;
  • 77% were concerned that if the government implements a rounding system for cash purchases, businesses might raise prices;
  • 66% of Americans oppose eliminating the penny and establishing a price rounding system.

Americans for Common Cents is a broad-based coalition of business and charitable organizations dedicated to keeping the penny. ACC was formed in 1990 in response to Congressional threats to eliminate the one-cent coin (www.pennies.org). Opinion Research Corporation International of Princeton, New Jersey, surveyed a national sample of 1,019 adults from March 22-25, 2012, comprised of 506 men and 513 women by phone. The margin of sampling error is +5%.

Contacts:

Americans for Common Cents
Mark W. Weller, 202-408-3933
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