“Those who pay attention to sports actually vote more than those who don’t.”

No doubt I risk incurring the wrath of some of you by posting something about politics here, but there are a couple of posts over at Hotline OnCall (h/t Ivan Maisel) which explore the correlation between sports viewing and political affiliation worth bringing to your attention.

If you’re a GOP strategist looking for key primary votes, spend your valuable advertising money on PGA Tour events. If you’re a Dem trying to win over your base, focus on advertising during NBA games.

So says a new study among hundreds of thousands of Americans examining the correlation between viewers’ favorite sports and their voting habits. And, the survey shows, most dedicated sports watchers are much more likely to vote with the GOP than they are to vote with Dems.

In SEC country, you can elevate that description from “dedicated” to “rabid”, so it comes as little surprise that college football viewers are 36% more likely to call themselves Republicans (higher than any other sport listed) than the average American and 9% less likely to call themselves Democrats.  They’re far more likely to vote than the average, too.

This chart shouldn’t surprise anyone either.

Top Five Media Market Rankings For Major Sports
College Football (23%)
1. Birmingham, AL (55%)
2. Knoxville, TN (49%)
3. Oklahoma City (47%)
4. Columbus, OH (43%)
5. Jacksonville, FL (40%)

Note: The numbers in parentheses are the percentage of high-turnout
voters who are very interested in those sports, both nationally and in
the local markets.

This is my favorite part.

And fans of World Wrestling Entertainment are also much more likely to favor Dems — if they vote. Wrestling fans are less likely to cast ballots than any other sports fans.

That’s because they’re far more familiar with the concept that things are fixed than the rest of us, I suppose.


Filed under College Football

48 responses to ““Those who pay attention to sports actually vote more than those who don’t.”

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    What do you mean implying that Wrestling is fixed? The ghost of Gordon Solie will haunt you.

  2. what i really want to know is this; are you more likely to vote libertarian if your team runs a spread offense?

    • Mike

      Well, my team runs one of those, and as I have gotten older, I have migrated from Republican to Libertarian.

      So I guess QED!

    • I’m disappointed that there wasn’t a place to list your party affiliation as “cynic”.

    • The Realist

      Georgia’s defense ran a spread last year… as in “bend over and SPREAD ’em”. I want nothing more than for the government to leave me alone. Does that count?

    • chg

      According to NFL football writers, if your team runs the Wildcat, you probably vote Communist.

      SEC fans respond – that was an honest-to-God option on the 2008 ballot.

  3. Nate

    I knew The Ultimate Warrior was a leftist…

  4. Will Q

    Senator, you misunderstand. You only incur our wrath when you post something about politics that we don’t agree with. If you’ll stop doing that, you can post about politics all you want.

    (the preceding message is sponsored by http://www.seriously,everyoneneedstogetagrip.itsasportsblog.org)

  5. Phocion

    “If you’re a GOP strategist looking for key primary votes, spend your valuable advertising money on PGA Tour events. If you’re a Dem trying to win over your base, focus on advertising during NBA games.”

    Tell me again why there isn’t truth to be found in stereotypes!

  6. Dog in Fla

    “That’s because they’re far more familiar with the concept that things are fixed than the rest of us,”

    as well as its pure socialist entertainment value,

    which is somewhat like a RNC sponsored trip to a leather bar in West Hollywood where they all are prohibited from attending SC practices…

  7. NCT

    NCT: Proudly tugging statistics in the minority direction for 25 years (having last come close to calling himself a “Republican” in 1984). The fact that I appear to be in the same blue boat as D Gillett, S Hall, and H Anderson isn’t exactly the most comforting thing, but there it is.

  8. As busy as we are undermining our nation’s security, eliminating individual liberties, and redistributing America’s wealth to minorities and illegal aliens, it’s a wonder we find any time to watch college football at all, but what can I say. We manage.

    • Derek

      I agree the only way we can avoid being attacked is to have a Republican president. Who was that Democrat liberal socialist bastard in the White House on 9/11 anyway?

      Then, after we are attacked, the liberal commie starts listening to our phone calls, reading our e-mails and calls for suspension of habeas corpus, an individual liberty we have all been entitled to since the Magna Carta.

      Then the commie, wealth redistributer passes a drug bill for seniors that isn’t paid for which is just taking my money and giving it to poor old people so they can have meds. Not that the white ones bother me so much, but the minorities too?

      Yes, I guess its football that takes my mind of the reckless socialist policies of that commie party that held every branch of goverment for most of the past decade.

      • Normaltown Mike

        I’m just glad we closed Gitmo, got out of Iraq and started civil trials for the innocents we’ve kept under lock and key during the Great Terror of the Cheney Administration.

      • Hogbody Spradlin

        A little angry there Derek?

        Tapping phone calls and e-mail transmissions that originate outside the United States, and detaining non-citizens caught in foreign countries who deliberately try to slip between the cracks of recognized norms, does not mean the SWAT team is coming for you when you sneak your doobie in your garage.

        I bet you’ve even gone as far as tearing Wallace stickers off the bumpers of cars,
        and you voted for George McGovern for president.

        • Derek

          Ignorance, hypocrisy and blatant racism angers me. That’s just a personal flaw that I have.

          The issue is not so much the substance of the policy decisions, its the ignorance of those who support or oppose policies for all of the wrong reasons, because they are stupid. That is to say, don’t act like you are the defender of individual freedoms while also supporting policies, or politicians, or political parties that DO attack personal liberties. The tension that is always there and will always be there between the left and the right is that the right values property rights more than the left while the left values personal freedoms that come into conflict with the right’s view of morality. Both are personal rights and both sides impinge on them. The question as you imply it is: when is it appropriate to do so? And that is a reasonable debate.

          Also, don’t suggest that one party has the market cornered on national security when I can show you where the Twin Towers used to be, a horribly managed war in Iraq and I can show you a war where the US beat the Empire of Japan and Hitler in far less time than it took the last president to secure an 11th century city, all while being led by the most liberal commander in chief in the history of our nation.

          Further, when your economic policy decisions are not made on the substance of them but upon the color of skin or the heritage of the people that you think benefit from a particular policy when I know that the average recipient of what we refer to as welfare is a young, white, unmarried woman with children, well, at that point you just have to call it as it is: Doug’s a dumb, idiot, racist.

          • Um… Derek, you might want to go back and read Doug’s comment with your sarcasm detector turned on.

          • Carter


            Self righteous indignation is another personal flaw.

            And you clearly are not familiar with Doug.

            • Derek

              Guilty as charged. And if I missed the sarcasm, ummm, sorry??? It just seemed so authentic ignorant redneck to me. Please forgive me.

              • Carter

                I just found it funny and ironic how you labeled Doug. He is by far the most well-known and respected liberal in the Dawg blogosphere.

                I hope one day that we can move beyond calling those whom we disagree with racist or socialist.

                • Derek

                  Well I guess add “remarkably unobservant” to my list of flaws.

                  As far as name calling goes I agree in general, but sometimes its necessary. I don’t know what you’d call them them, but the people who protest at militay funerals NEED to be called something. The person who carried a sign that read “Niggar” (yes he mispelled) at a Tea Party rally needs to be called something. And the guy who yelled “keep your government hands off my Medicare” at a anti-health care reform rally needs to be called something. And just so I’m fair and balanced, those who protest outside of military recruiting centers in Berkeley, CA need to be called something. The truth is that there are a lot of people who are stupid, racist or just flat out friggin’ crazy.

                  • Hogbody Spradlin

                    There is a name for those people: selfish. That would be anybody who thinks their constitutional right to free speech entitles them to be totally inconsiderate of their fellow man.

                    And be a little careful about calling people ignorant or stupid. We put too much value on ‘smart’ in this society. Smart is just cute and clever without wisdom or experience. The older I get the more I realize I don’t know.

    • Dog in Fla

      Welcome to Florida! You will really enjoy the summer weather in Gainesville. This is the suggested uniform of the day after Easter until Thanksgiving…

  9. Normaltown Mike

    In light of all this, President Obama might oughta utter these famous words to his GOP challengers:

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      About 30 years ago I was in a night club when Rick Flair came in. He was actually a pretty cool guy.

  10. Carter

    WNBA fans are least likely to be Republican. If I were a Republican I would take some pride in that.

    Now I really want to know where fiscally conservative, socially liberal, civil libertarians like me fit in with the correlation analysis.

  11. Vious

    I guess we shouldn’t be surprised

    Republicans run the NCAA Football base and the post-season is a total disaster

  12. Brandon

    Senator, I draw the opposite conclusion from that bit about wrestling, I think the average democratic voter (not the intellectual college professor/plaintiff’s lawyer/criminal defense lawyer type) is far more likely not to realize wrestling is fake and therefore is a rabid fan of it.