Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Poll Position

I was watching the Channel 30 (New Britain/Hartford, CT) news last night, and I saw the Aaron Boone home run appear out of nowhere. I quickly turned away, but I listened as the newscasters were talking about a poll of CT baseball fans that was coming up after the break. The male anchor, Gerry Brooks said, "Do we have to see this again?" as they went to commercial. When they came back they showed the results of the poll: CT is made up of 47% yankee fans, 33% Sox fans, and 9% Mets fans. (although the Sox "won" more counties than the yanks)

Eh, they don't know what they're talkin' about, I said, as Gerry signed off with "Go Red Sox".

I wanted to know more about this poll, so I went to Quinnipiac's web site. (see poll results here) (Quinnipiac is a college in Hamden, CT, which seems to exist solely to poll people about various issues. Pay attention to the news as the presidential election approaches, and you'll hear about a Quinnipiac poll every so often.)

The first thing I noticed was that Channel 30 indeed DIDN'T know what they were talkin' about: The yankee number was 43%, not 47%. (That was the number from a poll last July--note how the yanks are losing fans) This is a huge difference. 47 to 33 makes it sound like almost half versus a third. 43 to 33, on the other hand, (and let's not forget about the 3.3% Margin of Error,) is pretty damn close.

But this was a poll of about 900 people, so I'm not taking it too seriously. However: There are 8 counties in CT. The poll results show Fairfield and Hartford's stats individually, and then Middlesex and New Haven are grouped together, as are Tolland, Windham, and New London. (Litchfield, in the NW, is apparently not represented.) Fairfield, where I live, the closest county to NYC, consists of 55% yankee fans, and 10% Red Sox fans. (and 17% Mets fans). When you consider that Fairfield has more people than any other county, and the Red Sox ARE NOT ON TV here, I think you'd have to agree that it should be tossed right out of this poll. Which makes the Red Sox the most popular team in CT.... I know Fairfield is yankee territory, hence the name of my blog, but give people a chance to see this team, and you'd get a lot of people interested in the Red Sox. That logic may fly in the face of what I always say about Sox fans being true fans, as opposed to the frontrunning yankee fan base, but think of it this way: If there are yankee fans who "kinda" wanna see the Sox win (I just met another one today), then surely there are plenty of neutral fans who would start rooting for the Sox, if they just had a chance to see what a fun team they are, and all the other perks and benefits (heh) of being a citizen of Red Sox Nation.

Okay, back to the poll: The first poll question was "How interested are you in following major league baseball --very interested [22%], somewhat interested[35%] or not interested at all?[43%]"

Here's the second question: "If 'Very' or 'Somewhat' interested) What is your favorite major league baseball team?"

So they included the people who said they were only somewhat interested in following baseball in the poll! Remember, "Somewhat Interested" is only ONE step above "Not At All."

But in Tolland, Windham, New London, the "Very" number is 28, and the "Somewhat" is 38. And there, 46% are Sox fans, and 36% are yankee fans. So where there's more interest, there are more Sox fans.

I don't know, according to this wacky poll there are as many Orioles fans in Hartford County as Mets fans. And 1 in 20 baseball fans root for the Cubs in Eastern CT. So who knows what people are thinking.

But I guarantee you, if you took the same poll in '86, the Mets and yankees numbers would flip flop. That huge "Somewhat Interested" crowd is just a hotbed for yankee bandwagon activity. These outrageously low Met numbers show me that a large chunk of fans go from Mets to yankees depending on the standings, but also should show MLB and the cable companies that they might want to reconsider the current baseball "zoning" of our state.

Key win tonight, which I would've LOVED to see. Magic number down to 109. Unfortunately within a minute of the game ending, I watched some dude on the Rockies--the tying run--get caught stealing to END the game against the yanks. Absolutely terrible. Lucky bastards. The guy slid WAY to the inside of the base, almost touching grass as he slid, allowing the fielder, who caught the late throw three feet in front of second, to tag the guy on the chest. Unbelievable. Wait til we play those guys again...


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Location: Rhode Island, United States