As the Yankees begin a ten game homestand and the Mets are set to host the divisional rival Phillies, the Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll asks which is New Jersey's favorite major league baseball team? Not surprisingly, it depends on where you live - although naming the state's most disliked team doesn't. The poll also found that Garden State baseball fans say the cost of a game ticket is a poor value, but most will still head to the ballpark at least once this season.
Nearly half of all New Jersey adults (48%) consider themselves to be baseball fans. This is slightly lower than the national average of 53% reported by a Gallup Poll in December 2012. More men (54%) than women (42%) call themselves fans.
Most New Jerseyans have a favorable opinion (62%) of professional baseball. Only 24% have an unfavorable one. These results are similar to a national ABC News/Washington Post Poll conducted a year ago which found 66% of Americans with a favorable opinion of professional baseball and 28% with an unfavorable view. Among New Jersey baseball fans, specifically, opinion of MLB is overwhelmingly positive at 88% favorable to 9% unfavorable. Among non-fans, opinion is split at 38% favorable to 39% unfavorable.
The most popular team among Garden State baseball fans is the New York Yankees (52%), followed by the Philadelphia Phillies (19%) and the New York Mets (15%). The Boston Red Sox are mentioned by 4% of New Jersey baseball fans as their favorite team, but no other team tops 1% in the poll. In North Jersey, the Yankees (70%) far outpace the Mets (15%) as the fan favorite. In Central Jersey, the Yankees come out on top at 51%, compared to 23% for the Mets and 9% for the Phillies. Among South Jersey fans, the obvious fan favorite is the Phillies (55%), with the Yankees in second (21%), and the Mets in third (9%).
Who is the state's least favorite team? For Yankees fans, it is their arch-rival Red Sox (40%). The Baltimore Orioles (1%) is the only other American League East team named by Yankees fans. Another 1-in-7 Yankees fans name either the Mets (10%) or the Phillies (5%). For Mets and Phillies fans, though, the Bronx Bombers far surpass any other team in all of professional baseball as the most disliked. About 4-in-10 Mets (39%) and Phillies (41%) fans name the Yankees as their least favorite team. Only 1-in-6 Mets fans name a rival in the National League East division, including 14% who name the Phils and 4% who name another NL East team. Similarly, only 1-in-7 Phillies fans name a rival in the National League East division as their least favorite, including 10% who name the Amazin's and 4% who name another NL East team.
"The poll was conducted before the Boston Marathon bombing, and so Yankees fans may currently be a little friendlier to the Red Sox. But the Sox generate enough respect to lead me to think that the rivalry will be back to full-strength before the end of the season," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "The responses from Mets and Phillies fans, though, leave me scratching my head. Sure, both National League franchises have recently lost World Series titles to the Bombers. And sure, it is a rare season that the Mets and Phillies are both playing well. But you'd think a team like the Braves would produce more contempt than the Yankees. It's just one more sign of how those blue pinstripes dominate major league baseball."
Two-thirds (67%) of New Jersey baseball fans say that the cost of a major league baseball ticket is not a good value for the money. Only 26% say it is a good value. Regardless, most fans (53%) say they will take in at least one major league game this year, including 19% who plan to go to the ballpark three or more times this year. Phillies fans (67%) are more likely than either Yankees (52%) or Mets (50%) fans to say they will attend a game this year.
The poll also asked about planned attendance at minor league or independent league games and found that 38% of New Jersey baseball fans plan to attend a non-MLB game this season.
The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll was conducted by telephone with 806 New Jersey adults from April 11 to 14, 2013. Most of the results in this release are based on a subsample of 411 self-identified baseball fans, which has a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute and originally published by the Asbury Park Press and its sister publications (Courier-Post, Courier News, Daily Journal, Daily Record, and Home News Tribune).
The questions referred to in this release are as follows:
1. Would you say you are a fan of professional baseball or not?
2. Overall, do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of professional baseball? [If FAVORABLE/UNFAVORABLE: Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?]
[Questions 3 through 7 were asked of fans only, moe= +/- 4.8%]
3. Who is your favorite baseball team? [LIST WAS NOT READ]
4. And which team is your LEAST favorite? [LIST WAS NOT READ]
5. Do you plan on attending any MAJOR league baseball games this year, or not? [If YES: Will you attend just one or two, three to ten, or more than that?]
6. Overall, do you think the cost of a ticket for a major league baseball game is a good value for the money, or not?
7. And do you plan on attending any MINOR league or INDEPENDENT league baseball games this year, or not? [If YES: Will you attend just one or two, three to ten, or more than that?]
The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from April 11 to 14, 2013 with a statewide random sample of 806 adult residents, including 606 contacted on a landline telephone and 200 on a cell phone. Live interviewing services were provided by Braun Research, Inc. and the telephone sample was obtained from Survey Sampling International. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey questionnaire design, data weighting and analysis. 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 3.5 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