The battle to be America's Team in Super Bowl XXII already has been fought and won -- by the Denver Broncos, who beat the Redskins by eight (percentage) points in the latest Washington Post-ABC News Poll.
Slightly more than half -- 53 percent -- of all football fans interviewed said they hoped the Broncos will win on Sunday, while 45 said they will root for the Redskins. The remaining 2 percent were undecided.
When asked to put sentiment aside, an even bigger majority -- 60 percent -- said they thought the Broncos would win the game, while 38 percent picked the Redskins.
A Broncos win was predicted by majorities in every region in the country, but particularly in the Midwest and West where nearly two-thirds said they expected Denver to win.
The Redskins were the sentimental choice only in the South, where 52 percent said they hoped the Redskins would win -- even though only 43 percent thought Washington would triumph.
In the East, presumably where the Redskins would be the regional favorites, they weren't: only 43 percent of eastern football fans said they were rooting for the Redskins, while 53 percent said they were Broncos backers.
The survey showed that women were more likely than men to be Redskins rooters. Women also were more likely than men to expect a Washington win: 44 percent said the Redskins would triumph, compared to 33 percent of the men. Older people were more likely than younger respondents to name the Redskins as their sentimental favorites.
Politics -- another game played in Washington -- did not appear to offer much hope to the Redskins. Nearly three out of five Republicans and Democrats picked the Broncos to win.
The results are based on a Washington Post-ABC News national telephone survey of 644 adults who said they followed professional football. The telephone poll was conducted Jan. 17 to 23. Margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. Sampling error is, however, only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll.