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 …