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McCain-Obama Race Overwhelms NFL, MLB Interest:
Seton Hall Sports Poll Finds Overwhelming Interest Among Sports Fans in 2008 Presidential Contest
S. Orange, NJ, September 16, 2008  - Is the presidential election just another fall sporting event to sports fans?
In any case, it sure beats the NFL, baseball's post-season, and even the new fall TV lineup.  In answer to the question, “which interests you the most”, 75% said it was the presidential election to only 12% for the NFL's new season, 6% for the new Fall TV season and 5% for baseball's post-season and World Series. This comes from a Seton Hall Sports Poll of 699 randomly called respondents of whom two-thirds watched some or a lot of the Olympics,
The poll, conducted nationally, found that while 69% of all respondents watched “some” or “a lot” of Olympic coverage, the recently concluded political conventions held their own against that ratings-buster.  58% watched some or a lot of the Democratic Convention, and 54% watched some or a lot of the Republican Convention. 
Meanwhile, if the Chinese wanted to improve the impression of their country to Americans, they scored well in that effort.  26% of our respondents said that their impression of China has improved as a result of the Olympic games, while only 11% said it had gotten worse.  “If this was one of their goals in bidding for the games, 26% would mark a strong success for them.” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted by The Sharkey Institute.
In other findings:
The Olympics promotes excellence as well as competition.  Viewers saw it more as competition:  with 55% choosing to “root for the US to win the most medals possible” and 43% for “the greatest athletic achievements by athletes no matter what country they're from “
63% of those surveyed thought that television coverage on the NBC stations did a “good job” of covering foreign athletes vs. 31% feeling there was too much US emphasis.
The poll was conducted by telephone among a random digit dial sample of 699 adults ages 18 and older living in the continental United States, . The poll was weighted to reflect the national distribution age, race and gender. The margin of error due to sampling is +/- 3.6% percentage points for the full sample and 4.3% for sports fans.. Other factors also may affect the total error.

For more information please contact:
Rick Gentile


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