News & Events

Public Says Obama a Better Sportsman than Romney
Seton Hall > News & Events 

U.S. FootballPresident Obama is seen as showing better sportsmanship than his opponent Mitt Romney, according to the Seton Hall Sports Poll.

Asked "regardless of whom you support, which candidate do you think shows better sportsmanship," 53% said Obama, 29% said Romney, and 18% had no opinion. And while partisan politics may have affected that reading, the results from respondents who identified themselves as independent may be more telling: 58% said Obama showed better sportsmanship, 28% Romney, and 14% had no opinion.

The poll was conducted among 688 randomly selected people across the country, including people on cell phones, of whom 487 said they followed sports at least somewhat. The poll has a margin of error of 3.8%; 4.5% for sports fans.

The poll also found that to the question "which candidate do you think would make a better football coach," Obama drew 48% to Romney’s 30%, and a wider margin among independents, 52% - 31%. Asked which party has more of the "win at all costs" attitude commonly associated with sports, 43% said Republicans, 36% Democrats, and among independents it was 48% to 38% for the Republicans. (The margin of error for independent voters was 5.9%).

"One might expect partisan responses to these questions, so the results among independents is especially telling," noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is conducted by the Sharkey Institute. "In sports terms, it comes out very well for the likeability of the Democratic Party and the President."

50% of all respondents said they were following the election over the NFL (17%), the pennant races in baseball (9%), college football (8%) and NASCAR (3%).

On a "mean and nasty" level, respondents saw presidential politics as having more of that (38%) than the news media (20%), big business (17%), entertainment (7%) or pro sports (6%).

"That's a very good showing for the sportsmanship evident in professional sports," added Gentile.

Rating the Quarterbacks for Favorable Impressions
The poll took a select number of high profile NFL quarterbacks and came up with favorability ratings as seen by the public. Peyton Manning had a slight lead over his brother Eli, with 62% favorable (and only 3% unfavorable), while Eli (59%, and 5% unfavorable) was within the margin of error. The rankings based on favorability:

Quarterback Favorable Unfavorable
Payton Manning 62% 3%
Eli Manning 59% 5%
Drew Brees 47% 7%
Tim Tebow 47% 15%
Aaron Rogers 40% 6%
Tony Romo 28% 21%
Robert Griffin III 26% 5%
Andrew Luck 26% 6%
Cam Newton 26% 8%
Ben Roethlisberger 26% 22%
Michael Vick 24% 32%

For more information please contact:
Rick Gentile
(973) 761-7723


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