It’s official: Ohioans forgive LeBron James, according to new poll

(Lori Shepler/AP)
(Lori Shepler/AP)

Lebron James went from hero to zero and back again in the eyes of Ohio’s adult population, according to a new poll by Quinnipiac University. Released Monday, the poll finds the majority Ohioans have forgiven James for leaving the Cavaliers for the Heat in 2010 and now welcome him back. A copy of the poll obtained by the Washington Post states:

“There is almost no gender gap as 61 percent of men forgive James and 66 percent approve of his return, compared to 64 percent of women who forgive James and 60 percent who approve of his return.”

Those stats go down, however, when the population sample judged whether James was worth the two-year, $42.1 million contract he signed with the Cavs. A plurality of 41 percent of Ohio adults agreed James is worth it, but 36 percent said the team overpaid. (Twenty-three percent couldn’t decide.)

Overall, however, “Ohioans are positive on the return of LeBron James to Cleveland,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll.

The poll’s findings should not come as a surprise, though. Even Ohioan politicians quickly took a side after news broke last month that James would become a Cavalier again. They were universally in favor of his return… during an election year!

Plus, the anecdotal evidence was also pretty apparent, in that most Ohioans seemed to be on James’s side again after he announced his homecoming.

The city of Cleveland -- and NBA fans across the country -- are abuzz over the announcement that the city's prodigal son, basketball star LeBron James, is returning to the Cavaliers. (Gillian Brockell, Jhaan Elker and Kate M. Tobey/The Washington Post)

And new Cleveland football star Johnny Manziel, the wildly popular rookie who’s competing to be the starting quarterback for the Browns this season, also set the tone.

Now, all James needs to do to keep the positive momentum going is win everything. Easy-peasy.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.

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