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Seton Hall Sports Poll

28% of Men Would Rather Their Favorite Team Win the Super Bowl or World Series
Than Their Favorite Candidate Win the 2020 Presidential Election; Only 11% of Women Feel the Same

Twenty-one percent of Americans said they spent more time watching the impeachment hearings
than entertainment shows or sports events.

By 74 to 19 percent, the American public said they would rather their preferred candidate win the 2020 presidential election than their favorite team win the Super Bowl or World Series.  

However, 28 percent of males said they would rather see their favorite team win the championship than have their favorite candidate win the 2020 presidential election – while 64 percent said they would prefer their favorite candidate to win. Another 8 percent said they did not know or had no opinion.

Among women, only 11 percent said they would prefer their team to win, with 84% preferring their candidate to win the presidential election. The remaining five percent did not know or had no opinion.  

These are the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week of 712 adults on landlines and cellphones across the country.  The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percent.

“In the last two presidential elections voter turnout has been between 58 and 60 percent,” said Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. “It shouldn’t be a surprise that that many men care more about the outcome of a baseball or a football season than the political future of the country – but it is alarming.”

Presidential Candidate or Championship, By Education Level

The more education the respondents had, the more strongly they felt about the election results. For those with less than a high school education, 55 percent said they would prefer their favorite “presidential candidate to win,” while 31 percent said they would prefer their team to win (14 percent did not know/had no opinion).

For those who graduated college, 81 percent said they would prefer their favorite “presidential candidate to win,” while only 16 percent of college grads said they would prefer their sports team to win the Super Bowl or the World Series.

Impeachment Hearings, Sporting Events or Entertainment Shows?

The poll asked the public if they had spent more time watching sports events, entertainment shows or the impeachment hearings in the last week. Twenty-one percent of Americans said they spent more time watching the hearings; 28 percent said they watched more sports events, while 40 percent said they watched more entertainment shows. Ten percent said “none,” while 2 percent said they did not know or had no opinion (Total result of rounding).

ABOUT THE POLL

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.Recently chosen for inclusion in iPoll by Cornell’s Roper Center for Public Opinion Research,its findings have been published everywhere from USA Today, ESPN, The New York Times, Washington Post, AP, and Reuters to Fox News and most points in between.

This poll was conducted by telephone November 18-20 among adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones.  The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results:  

1. Last week did you spend more time watching sports events, entertainment shows or the impeachment hearings?

1 – Sports events                                                                   28%

2 – Entertainment shows                                                     40

3 – Impeachment hearings                                                  21

4 – None                                                                                  10

5 – Don’t know/No Opinion                                                   2

2. What would you most like to see happen in 2020, your favorite team winning the Super Bowl or World Series or your favorite candidate winning the presidential election?

1 – Team winning                                                                   19

2 – Candidate winning                                                           74

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                                    6

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall has been showing the world what great minds can do since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall embraces students of all religions and prepares them to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, it has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth and an impressive 110-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have received more than 30 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors, including Boren Awards, Pickering Fellowships, Udall Scholarships and a Rhodes Scholarship. The University is also proud to be among the most diverse national Catholic universities in the country.

During the past five years, the University has invested more than $165 million in new campus buildings and renovations. And in 2015, Seton Hall launched a School of Medicine as well as a College of Communication and the Arts. The University’s beautiful main campus in suburban South Orange, N.J. is only 14 miles from New York City — offering students a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. Seton Hall’s nationally recognized School of Law is located prominently in downtown Newark. The University’s Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Clifton and Nutley, N.J. opened in the summer of 2018. The IHS campus houses the University’s College of Nursing, School of Health and Medical Sciences and the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

NBA and China

The American public strongly supports the Houston Rockets general manager’s tweet regarding Hong Kong and China’s rights conflict. (Daryl Morey, the GM, tweeted support for the Hong Kong protesters seeking freedom from Chinese oversight.  The Chinese reacted with disdain and business with the NBA was threatened).Only 9 percent of the public thought the Rockets GM, Daryl Morey, should be fired, with 77 percent saying the Rockets should keep him and defend his freedom of speech.  14 percent said they did not know or had no opinion.

In addition, 54 percent of the nation feels Daryl Morey should be applauded for taking a stand supporting the Hong Kong protesters, with only 19 percent saying he should not have sent the tweet because it risked valuable relationships over a foreign domestic issue.  27 percent did not know or had no opinion.
These are the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted this week among 703 adult Americans across the country on both landlines and cellphones.  The Poll has a margin of error of +/-3.8 percent.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver first apologized for the tweet but later backtracked and showed support for freedom of speech.  46 percent of the public felt he handled it well, and 36 percent say he did not, with 18 percent saying they did not know or had no opinion.

52% Say Lebron James’ Comments were out of self-interest

LeBron James tweeted condemnation of Morey, claiming “he wasn’t educated on the situation” and endangered people “not only financially but physically.”  Only 28 percent thought his reaction was sincere, with 52 percent saying he acted out of financial self-interest.

69% expressed concern that China has so much influence over an American professional League, with only 23 percent saying they are not concerned.

Morey’s Tweet vs. Kaepernick’s Kneeling

Comparing Morey’s tweet to Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem, 47 percent said both actions should be defended as free speech, with 16 percent saying that it only applied to Morey and 5 percent saying it only applied to Kaepernick.

There are big differences between Democrats and Republicans on this comparison.  59 percent of Democrats and only 29 percent of Republicans say that they should both be defended as free speech, while 7 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Republicans say that it only applies to Morey.

“The fundamental right of free speech seems to have carried the day in favor of Daryl Morey’s tweet,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. “It is much clearer when applied to a foreign power than to a domestic one.”

For more information, visit here.  (Questions and results breakdown below, an online version of this release may be found here.

 

PENCE AT OLYMPICS

Olympics, Two-Thirds of US to VP Pence: Not Appropriate to Stay Seated During Opening Ceremonies

Viewing of Games on Streaming Devices Makes a ‘Breakthrough’ Impact;
Americans Disapprove of  ‘Shut Up and Dribble by Wide Margin,’ also say Athletes should be Able to Comment on Social Issues;
Approval of Subsidies to U.S. Olympic Athletes by More than 2 to 1;
Absence of Matt Lauer and Bob Costas gauged; Ban on tackle football until freshman year in high school?

Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to remain seated as the combined North and South Korean teams entered the stadium during Olympic Opening Ceremonies received a harsh rebuke from the American public – by 3-to-1, according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week,

A strong 66% said the gesture was not appropriate, with only 18% supporting the decision.  People in the 18-44 age bracket disapproved by 72%-14%, while older people, by 60% to 22% –  were somewhat more supportive — but still strongly opposed.

“It’s a departure from the reaction to most actions taken by the current administration during this era of polarization,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute.   “Eighteen percent is less than half of the usual approval found from polling on other administration actions.”

The poll was conducted this week with random calls to 775 adults on landlines and cellphones across the country, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.6%.

Olympic Games: Streaming Garners ‘Breakthrough’ Numbers; General Interest Levels Gauged; Impact of Absence of Bob Costas and Matt Lauer; Subsidies for U.S. Olympic Athletes Favored

As for the Olympic Games themselves, 17% named “streaming” as the manner in which they mostly watched the Games, and while 54% named NBC’s primetime coverage, the 17% is significant for the communications industry as a breakthrough number.  (12% named “other TV networks” as their most preferred option).

“It’s eye-popping,” said Gentile.  “It marks yet another breakthrough in the so-called ‘cord-cutting’ era.  That little more than half of the audience primarily watches on NBC primetime would have been considered remarkable just four years ago. And as a sign of things to come, 44% of those 18-29 chose streaming, about the same as chose NBC prime time.”

Meanwhile, as far as general interest in the Winter Olympics,  only 9% say their interest in greater, while 18% say it is less than previously.  But among those 18-29, coveted by advertisers, interest was greater among 20%, with only single digits in older age groups (7% in the 30-44 category, 6% among 45-59 and 7% among 60+).

“This could be due to the X-Games influence and the increased snow-boarding coverage,” added Gentile.

66% said it didn’t matter whether they were viewing an event live or delayed.  And 66% also said that NBC has done a good job of generating interest in the Games.

This is the first Olympics in many years without Matt Lauer’s presence in the morning, and Bob Costas serving as host in prime time.  16% said the evening coverage was “not as good” without Costas, and 11% said morning coverage was “not as good” without Lauer.

Asked whether the US Olympic Committee should subsidize American athletes who cannot earn a living participating in sports like luge, cross-country skiing, and other sports, 59% said they should offer subsidies with only 22% saying no.

Athletes Voicing Opinions on Social Positions Supported; A Rebuff to Fox’s Ingraham.

The Poll asked whether professional athletes should use their fame to comment on social issues.  47% said yes, and 42% said no, with 11% having no opinion.  But asked about Fox News’ host Laura Ingraham’s comment that the players (notably LeBron James and Kevin Durant) should “shut up and dribble,” only 25% approved while 46% disapproved.  (30% had no opinion).  Among those who identified themselves as African-American, only 12% expressed approval of her comment, with 69% disapproving.

Ban on Tackle Football until Freshman Year in High School?

Finally, the Poll asked for opinions on the bill in the California State Legislature to ban organized tackle football until freshman year in high school in response to the danger of brain injury to younger players.  The bill received support from 46% (nationally), with 24% disapproval.  30% had no opinion or did not know.

This release can also be found here.

The Official Seton Hall Sports Poll podcast discussing this topic with Seth Everett and Rick Gentile can be found at here.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone February 19-21 among 775 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.

The results:

1. Which ongoing sports event or season are you most interested in, the Winter Olympics, college basketball, the NBA, the NHL or the opening of baseball’s spring training camps?

1.     Winter Olympics               31%

2.     College basketball            10

3.     NBA                                   17

4.     NHL                                     6

5.     Spring training                   12

6.     Don’t know/No opinion    24

2.     Would you say your interest in the Winter Olympics currently taking place in South Korea is greater than, less than or about the same as interest in previous Olympics?

1.     Greater than                       9

2.     Less than                          18

3.     About the same                52

4.     Not interested at all        15

5.     Don’t know                         5

(If “Not interested at all” skip to question 7)

 

3.     Where have you watched more Olympic coverage, NBC’s prime time, daily coverage on other TV networks or streaming coverage on handheld devices?

1.     NBC Prime Time               54

2.     Other TV networks          12

3.     Streaming                          17

4.     Don’t know                        17

4.     Are you more likely to watch an Olympic event if it’s presented live or does it not matter if the presentation is delayed?

1.     Live                                   30

2.     Doesn’t matter                   66

3.     Don’t know/No opinion        5

5.     For many years Matt Lauer hosted NBC’s morning Olympic coverage and Bob Costas hosted the evening presentation.  Do you think the morning Olympic coverage on the Today show is as good without Matt Lauer, not as good or about the same?

1.     As good                             16

2.     Not as good                      11

3.     About the same                 32

4.     Don’t know/No opinion      42

6.     How about the evening coverage without Bob Costas, as good, not as good or about the same?

1.     As good                             12

2.     Not as good                      16

3.     About the same                 40

4.     Don’t know/No opinion      32

7.     Do you think NBC, the presenting network in the U.S., has done a good job of generating interest in the Games?

1.     Yes                                    66

2.     No                                     17

3.     Don’t know/No opinion      17

8.     Should the US Olympic Committee subsidize American athletes who cannot earn a living participating in their sports like luge, cross country skiing, etc.?

1.     Yes                                    59

2.     No                                     22

3.     Don’t know/No opinion      19

9.     Vice President Mike Pence attended the Olympics’ Opening Ceremony in South Korea and was seated in the VIP box with various foreign dignitaries and heads of state.  He remained seated when the combined North and South Korean team entered the arena during the parade of nations.  Do you think it was appropriate for him to remain seated while all others stood?

1.     Yes                                    18

2.     No                                     66

3.     Don’t know/No opinion      16

10.  Do you think professional athletes should use their fame as a platform to make comments about social issues?

1.     Yes                                    47

2.     No                                     42

3.     Don’t know/No opinion      11

11.  Two weeks ago the California State Legislature introduced a bill to ban organized tackle football until freshman year in high school in response to the danger of brain injury to younger players. Do you approve of this bill, disapprove or have no opinion?

1.     Approve                            46

2.     Disapprove                       24

3.     No opinion                         23

4.     Don’t know                          7

12.  Fox News host Laura Ingraham, in response to comments by LeBron James and Kevin Durant criticizing President Trump, said the players should “shut up and dribble”.  Do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, strongly disapprove or have no opinion regarding Laura Ingraham’s statement?

1.     Strongly approve             16

2.     Somewhat approve            9

3.     Somewhat disapprove     11

4.     Strongly disapprove         35

5.     Don’t know/No Opinion    30

13.  How closely do you follow sports, very closely, closely, not closely or not at all?

1.     Very closely                      15

2.     Closely                               37

3.     Not closely                        30

4.     Not at all                           18

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been developing students in mind, heart and spirits since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous academic programs, Seton Hal’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Business.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, the University has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth in addition to an impressive 95-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have been awarded nearly 20 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors including a Rhodes Scholar. In the past five years, the University has invested more than $134 million in new campus buildings and renovations. And in 2015, Seton Hall launched a new School of Medicine as well as a new College of Communication and the Arts.

A founding member of the new Big East Conference, the Seton Hall Pirates field 14 NCAA Division I varsity sports teams. The University’s beautiful main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles from New York City – offering its students a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The University’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark. For more information, visit www.shu.edu

84% Support NFL Players Right

84% Support NFL Players’ Right to Protest, But Vary on How to Carry that Out;Only 16% Say Protesters Should Be Dropped from Teams

A poll conducted this week by the Seton Hall Sports Poll has found that 84% of American support the NFL players’ right to protest, with only 16% saying the players should be ordered to stand for the anthem or be dropped from the team if they refuse.

Of the 84% supporting the players’ right to protest, 49% felt they should find a different way to express their political opinions, and 35% felt that not standing for the anthem is an acceptable way to protest. There was a wide racial gap in those saying it was an acceptable form of protest.with 70% of African-American choosing that option only 28% of whites doing so.

The poll of 845 adults (on both landline and cellphone) was conducted across the US on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday of this week. It has a margin of error of 3.4%.

An identical question was asked a year ago about just Kaepernick. At that time, 80% supported the right to protest and 20% believed they should be dropped from the team if they refused an order to stand.

Asked specifically this week about players not standing during the playing of the anthem, 44% of all respondents disapproved, 32% approved, and 25% had no opinion or did not know. The responses to the same question about just Kaepernick a year ago were 47% disapproval and 27% approval.

“These attitudes are remarkably stable given all that has happened in this past year and the recent spike in attention being paid to the subject. , noted Rick Gentile, Director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute.

Respondents were asked whether they agreed more with President Trump who called on NFL owners to fire any players who refuse to stand or with Commissioner Roger Goodell and several NFL owners who called the president’s comments divisive

Trump received the support of 28% and Goodell received 50%. Among African-Americans Trump received 6% vs 78% for Goodell, and whites were 32% to 47%.

Asked about Kaepernick’s lack of a contract by an NFL team, 47% felt it was because of his protests and 19% because he wasn’t good enough. 81% of African-Americans felt it was because of his protest with only 7% saying it was because he was not good enough, while among whites the ratio was 41% (protest) and 22% (ability).

“This is an emotional issue for many people with obvious differences between whites and African-Americans,” said Gentile. “The overall support for the players’ right to protest – in some form – is heartening especially considering some of the divisive rhetoric we’ve heard revolving around this issue.”

The protests can be very damaging to the NFL’s popularity. 29% of respondents said they were watching fewer games this season, and of that group, 47% cited the player protests during the national anthem.

In an identical question asked in November 2016, 25% said they were watching fewer games because of the anthem protest.
 

To view the full release, visit here.

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone September 25-27 among 845 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.
(Photo credit —Tampa Bay Times)