Peyton Manning for President?

In Freakonomics, we wrote about how the black-white gap in America exists not only in vital matters like education, income, and health but in seemingly trivial matters like baby names and preferences in TV shows.

With that in mind, it’s interesting to take a look at a new poll by Public Policy Polling (PDF; Yahoo! writeup) about Americans’ football preferences. The headline finding is that the Green Bay Packers are now “America’s team,” with 22 percent of respondents listing the Packers as their favorite team. (I have a feeling that winning the Super Bowl last year and going 12-0 to start this season had a little something to do with that; let’s see what the poll shows this time next year.) But PPP also asked the 700+ respondents their race, gender, and voting ideology, and it’s interesting to see how the favorability rating of individual players varies.

Here, for instance, is an overall snapshot of quarterback favorability — in alphabetical order, with Tim Tebow coming out on top with 15% of the vote (he’s had a lot of free publicity lately), trailed by Eli Manning with 14%. Keep in mind, however, that respondents could pick only one quarterback, so the vote was deeply split:

As you can see, Tebow gets lopsided support from Republicans (27%) versus Democrats (9%). And on the flipside, Michael Vick gets a 12% vote from Democrats and only 2% from Republicans.

That said, Tebow’s appeal is fairly consistent across races:

Vick’s appeal, meanwhile, is wildly split between blacks and whites, with 75% of blacks giving him a thumbs-up versus only 16% of whites:

If you were a political operative trying to identify from these data which NFL quarterback might have great electoral appeal after his playing days, it’d be hard to do better across the board than Eli Manning’s big brother Peyton. Here are his favorability numbers broken down by voting ideology, race, and gender:

Wouldn’t these numbers make a political operative drool? Manning’s neck injury has been terrible news for the Colts this season, but it doesn’t seem to have hurt his favorability ratings one bit. I have no idea if he would be the least bit competent as an elected official but I can certainly see him getting a chance to find out …

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  1. frankenduf says:

    yeah the Vick data is accurate- he gets kicked out of football for fighting dogs, while belicheck gets caught cheating, which one would presume to be the highest offense against the integrity of the sport, and his punishment was…

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    • Steve S. says:

      At one time it was against the rules for coaches to watch the game AND communicate plays to the team. Maybe Belichick is at the forefront of a change in the NFL’s rules…

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  2. AaronS says:

    What? “the least bit competent as an elected official”?

    You cannot possibly be anymore INCOMPETENT than our elected officials–and if you can’t be worse, then you can only be equal or better than our officials.

    Our Congress should be selected at random. We’ve proven that having the money and influence to obtain elected office means absolutely zilch in terms of the good it does our country. Maybe installing some small-town, commonsense, no-nonsense Mom or Pop will do more to straighten us out that a thousands p0liticians who live only to make the other party look bad.

    So, yeah, give me Peyton Manning. Or Brees. Or Tebow. I’d go for anyone of them.

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  3. dave gershner says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Disliked! Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8
    • Dan says:

      Sorry, bro but Obama’s foreign policy is a disaster.

      If you are in favor of liberty or religious freedom or women’s rights, you will notice that a black cloud that is a new dark ages has descended on every nation he has touched.

      Egypt and Libya both are heading toward Sharia law, where if you decide to believe anything other than Islam, the penalty is death. If you are a woman, your rights are the same as those of a table or chair. Individual rights are worse in Iraq than before, no success there.

      Libya is especially troubling because it is an own goal, where where carried the ball all the way down the field in the wrong direction. Would it have been too much to ask to say to the rebels, uh, who are you? They were in the most desperate situation before we dropped 10,000 bombs on Qwathaffy’s (sp?) army and we just give them the use of all of our power, no questions asked. They called in airstrikes using our weaponry — could we at least have found out if they believe in, you know, freedom? And not just freedom for tribal thugs to keep a bunch of wives as slaves?

      If freedom is not your measure of the world getting better, here is another. I work at the US Patent Office and the patent output by these Islamist places is not merely low. It is exactly nil. My middle class town has higher patent output than these countries.

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      • dave gershner says:

        Well, ‘bro’ if President Obama had done nothing but get bin laden, his foreign policy is Nobel prize winning great; remember bush tried and failed to get bin laden for 7 years.

        You can’t know where n. africa is headed, but the world knows Obama’s foreign policy aided in getting rid of dictators. Their people are free now to choose what they will. Isn’t American about freedom of choice and democracy, rather than dictatorship?

        As far as iraq, it was a great mistake, but bush took us in; Obama got us out. Is it perfect? Of course not, perfection doesn’t exist. American paid a very high price for bush’s iraq and other mistakes.

        Not only is Obama doing great compared to bush, but also that is already being recognized by the American people who have given more campaign dollars to the President than ALL OF THE pubs RUNNING for their party’s nom, and they are all clowns.

        Did you know the millionaires at romney’s old firm bain capital have given twice as much money to Obama than to romney?

        Google some stuff, ‘bro’, learn something, some facts; opinions don’t go that far.

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      • Dan says:

        Dave —

        Bush and Obama suffer from the same foolish misconception: democracy as the be-all-end-all.

        Democracy without rights or enlightenment is just lord-of-the-flies style mob rule. If democracy means the majority banishing the minority, how terrific.

        I presume you are not Muslim. You therefore would not have any meaningful personhood in any one of these countries, post ‘spring.’

        If a dark ages is democratically chosen, it is still a dark ages, no?

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      • Dan says:

        Okay, I get it. I have to use examples that a liberal will relate to, not silly nonsense like freedom of religion.

        How about the fact the homosexual practice is punishable by death in all Sharia-law countries? Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran. Sharia coming to Egypt and Libya? Bring on the stoning-squad….

        Or maybe there is no conflict:
        ‘We don’t have any gays in Iran,’ Iranian president tells Ivy League audience

        Read more:

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      • Dan says:

        Or perhaps no rights matter at all and the only thing to you is money. Well by that measure too, the Arab ‘spring’ has been a dark night. The Egyptian revolution was sparked mainly by economic frustration and yet the economy collapsed in the last year.

        Massive carpet bombing of Libya has surely doubled that nations GDP, no?

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    • Rob says:

      So the Obama administration is responsible for the development of tactics and operations with drones? If selling that gross exaggeration is the best his supporters have then his re-election hopes are worse than I thought.

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  4. Caleb b says:

    I’ll say it. White people dislike Vick bc he is/was a dog killing thug. I know someone who graduated high school with him and confirmed this has always been the case. His thug brother is a prime example. Vick might be rehabilitated now (I hope he is), but killing dogs is what he’s infamous for….hence the low approval rating.

    Why do black people overwhelmingly approve of Vick? I don’t know, probably only bc he’s successful and black.

    The fact that there’s such a wide difference in opinion is something that needs to be explored further.

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    • Rob says:

      What needs to be explored? Just as the religious right supports Republicans, African-Americans support high profile blacks. 70% thought OJ was innocent. 86% still have a favorable view of the President. Vick’s biggest crime – dog fighting – is commonly seen as a sport among many in the black community, so it is no surprise that his participation in it would not sully their view of him.

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  5. Mark says:

    Very interesting analysis, and right on the money! Peyton for President was featured in a popular log posted just today!:

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