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Poll: 35% of New Jerseyans are Rutgers fans

3

Here's something interesting. The firm Public Policy Polling recently polled New Jersey residents on a variety of political issues. Also included in the poll were a number of sports-related questions, which also happen to be cross-tabbed to political factors. According to the poll, 35% of New Jerseyans support Rutgers athletics, vs. 65% do not. As that 65% ranges can mean virtually anything (and is probably just passive indifference in most cases), 35% of 8.8 million people gives you approximately 3.9 million fans in varying levels of support, which is nothing to sneeze at. As a basis of comparison, the Giants are at 37%, with significant showings for the Eagles and Jets as well. According to the poll, Rutgers fans lean left, with a somewhat higher percentage of Obama supporters following Rutgers than Romney supporters. Voters of all stripes support the move to the Big Ten conference, with respondents describing themselves as somewhat liberal showing the strongest support base for Rutgers athletics. Self-described moderates had the smallest amount of support, closely followed by strong conservatives. When it comes to political affiliation, Democrats also demonstrate a significantly higher level of support for Rutgers sports than Republicans. Where the poll really skews odd is on gender. Far more men than women support the move to the Big Ten, although women are largely reporting that they are unsure instead of being in opposition. However, according to the poll, a much higher percentage of females as opposed to males like Rutgers athletics, which seems rather unintuitive given common stereotypes about sports. Women slightly edge out Obama voters (who were a big majority in NJ this year) as a larger base of support. The poll really gets interesting when it comes to ethnicity. Whites (who constitute the largest ethnic group in New Jersey, although the state is far more diverse than most) are the most indifferent to Rutgers sports, followed by African Americans, "Other" (which is quite an odd label, given the state's large Asian population), and Hispanics. Indeed, the poll states that a majority of New Jersey Hispanics are Rutgers fans, which is the highest level of support in the poll from any single demographic group. A lot of these results seem somewhat strange, and the weirdest result of all may be when it comes to age. Supposedly Rutgers lags in support among young and the middle aged, while making up ground among the elderly. This is, quite frankly, completely contrary to all past reported data on the subject. The Rutgers fanbase skews very young, younger than most, owing to its history. You might be able to argue on the other points, but this specific data point makes me want to throw the whole thing out the window.

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