The Giants versus the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. A majority of New Jerseyans are rooting for the home team, but they are split on whether Big Blue should identify itself with the Big Apple or the Garden State. These are some of the findings of the latest Monmouth University Poll conducted days before kickoff.
The vast majority of New Jersey residents will find themselves in front of a TV during the big game. This includes 60% who will be watching the game closely and 23% who will have the game on but are more likely to be noshing on snacks than keeping an eye on every play. Men (70%) are more likely than women (50%) to pay attention to each snap.
A majority of 53% will be rooting for New Jersey's Giants compared to just 8% who will cheer on the New England Patriots. [ Note: The Monmouth University Poll protects the confidentiality of all survey participants - no matter which team they misguidedly choose to support.] Another 21% of state residents say it doesn't matter to them who wins and 17% won't watch the game at all.
"Residents north of I-195 are geared up for the big game on Sunday, hoping to see a Giants victory. South Jerseyans will also be watching the game, but with much less invested in the outcome, a reminder that we are a state divided when it comes to team loyalties," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
There are some regional differences in these results - 6-in-10 (59%) North and Central Jersey residents will be pulling for the Giants compared to just 3-in-10 (31%) from South Jersey. Jets fans in particular will be cheering on their stadium-mates (79%, to 5% for the Pats). But Philadelphia Eagles fans are split - 36% want their NFC division rivals to triumph while 21% back the AFC champs and 35% have no preference on the outcome.
The poll also found that nearly 4-in-10 (38%) New Jerseyans are very interested in this year's Super Bowl and another 31% are somewhat interested. Another 3-in-10 are not very (9%) or not at all (22%) interested. Those very interested include 39% in North Jersey and 43% in Central Jersey compared to only 26% in South Jersey.
Governor Chris Christie has made a point of referring to the NFC champs as the "New Jersey Giants" since they play here, train here, and the majority of the team lives here. But when asked what the team should call themselves, opinion is divided - 40% say they should have to call themselves "New Jersey" while 34% say that it's okay if they stick with "New York." Another 22% volunteer that it doesn't matter to them what the team is called. Among self-professed fans of the Giants, though, a clear majority (54%) want them to identify with their home state compared to 34% who are fine with their association with the city across the Hudson River.
"New Jersey's Giant fans are loyal to their team, and it seems as if they want Big Blue to return the favor," said Murray.
For the record, 31% of New Jersey residents consider themselves Giants fans, 16% are Eagles fans, 7% Jets fans, and 16% fans of another NFL franchise. But it's worth noting that in South Jersey, a large majority (57%) of residents are Eagles fans. This number is greater than the percentage of Giants and Jets fans combined in North (45%) and Central (44%) Jersey.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone with 602 New Jersey adults from January 31 to February 2, 2012. This sample has a margin of error of ± 4.0 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
The questions referred to in this release are as follows:
1. How interested are you in Sunday’s Super Bowl game – very, somewhat, not very, or not at all?
2. Will you be watching the game, will it be on a nearby TV but you will only pay a little attention, or won’t you have the game on at all?
3. Will you be rooting for the Giants or the Patriots, or doesn’t it matter to you who wins?
4. In professional football, are you normally a fan of the Giants, the Jets, the Eagles, some other team, or no team at all?
5. Should the Giants have to call themselves the New JERSEY Giants or is it okay to call themselves the New YORK Giants?
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute on January 31 to February 2, 2012 with a statewide random sample of 602 adult residents, including 490 contacted on a landline telephone and 112 on a cell phone. Sampling and interviewing services were provided by Braun Research, Inc. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points. Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample. In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.
It is the Monmouth University Polling Institute’s policy to conduct surveys of all adult New Jersey residents, including voters and non-voters, on issues that affect the state. Specific voter surveys are conducted when appropriate during election cycles.
Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.
Download this Poll Report with all tables