I wrote a story in Sunday’s paper on a new Post poll of Washington-area sports fans. The poll was done in August, among a random sample of 1,010 adult residents of the Washington metro area, by our polling department; it’s something that we don’t believe has ever done among D.C. sports fans.
The story focused on the Redskins and Daniel Snyder, but there were a whole bunch of interesting numbers in the favorability questions. I’ll highlight 10 of them here; you can look at the full results yourself. There were, of course, many other questions in the poll that we’ll release later.
1. The Caps are riding high. The hockey’s team’s favorable-unfavorable breakdown was 61 percent to 3 percent. No other local pro franchise had a ratio close to that.
2. The Nats haven’t been tainted by losing. Despite never having a winning season, the Nats also had a 61 percent approval rating. They did, however, have 12 percent unfavorables, and fewer people were “strongly” favorable toward the Nats than the Caps.
3. The Wizards have some work to do. While the Redskins had the highest unfavorable marks, as noted in the story, the Wizards had favorable marks among just 44 percent of area sports fans. I don’t think a hometown team should dip below 50 percent, ideally. D.C. United had similar favorable numbers, but only because far more people said they didn’t know enough to offer an opinion.
4. Ted Leonsis more closely mirrors the Caps than the Wizards. The owner was given favorable marks from 41 percent of area sports fans, to just 4 percent unfavorable.
5. No one knows who the hell Ted Lerner is. The owner of the capital’s baseball team got “don’t know enough to have an opinion” from 64 percent of respondents.
6. Similarly, John Wall remains an unknown. He got favorable from 33 percent, unfavorable from 4 percent, but 62 percent didn’t know enough to have an opinion. About the most important player for the NBA team in town.
7. The Stephen Strasburg vs. Alex Ovechkin debate? Settled, for now. Ovechkin has 55 percent favorables, to 47 percent for Strasburg. The difference is almost entirely made up by people who don’t know enough about Strasburg to have an opinion. Ovechkin also had 30 percent “strongly” favorable, to 21 for Strasburg.
8. Mike Shanahan was the only area coach we asked fans about. He had 48 percent favorables, but a somewhat surprising 25 percent of area fans had an unfavorable opinion. Of course, this was taken before his team started 2-0.
9. Dan Snyder, as the story indicated, generated the most unfavorable numbers of any person or team we asked about. The Redskins owner had 20 percent favorables to 54 percent unfavorable. He also had the fewest “don’t know enough” responses of any person we asked about.
10. The fact that at least 25 percent of area sports fans don’t know enough about the Capitals, Nationals, Wizards or D.C. United to have an opinion makes me question who exactly is calling themselves an area sports fans. Weird town, this.