Despite a barrage of negative stories surrounding Lance Armstrong in
recent weeks, a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week, half the
public hasn’t changed their view of the cyclist/Livestrong founder.
Nearly half of the total sampling - 49% - said their opinion has not
changed because of the recent allegations, and despite revelations of
pressuring his teammates to cover for him, when asked if that led to
negatively influencing opinion, only 16% cited that as the leading
factor, with 28% saying it was because he denied cheating for so long.
13% said they were influenced by his taking of performance enhancing
37% said they had a positive opinion of him, with 36% saying
negative. 27% had no opinion or didn’t know. The poll has a margin of
error of +/- 3.4%.
Among younger respondents - those 18-29 - the positive opinion was 4-1 over the negative.
“It’s a complicated story; it’s not just another athlete cheating,”
noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is conducted by the
Sharkey Institute. “We were surprised by this result given the almost
daily pounding of his reputation but he overcame cancer, raised millions
for cancer research, and became an American hero. The public hasn’t
Only 49% thought his Tour de France titles should have been taken away.
The poll was conducted among 878 randomly selected people across the country, including people on cell phones.
Other Sports Poll Results found that the presidential election outpaces sports for the "fiercest competition," and World Series rate are low in the event fans would most like to attend.
The poll found, in terms of the fiercest competition, the presidential election with 69% easily outpaced both the Super
Bowl (19%) and the World Series (8%). Asked which sporting event they
would most want to attend, 31% said the Super Bowl and 29% said the
Olympics. The World Series was a distant third at 11%, tying the World
Cup and the Final Four.
“The World Series was once so entrenched in America’s minds that it
was said that the presidential campaigns didn’t get serious until it was
over,” added Gentile. “It’s hard to overlook the low scores the World
Series recorded in this poll, especially since the poll was conducted in
the week of the Series opening.”
Respondents thought the Yankees failure to advance to the World
Series was largely due to their being “overpaid and overrated” (32%),
with the team’s offensive collapse (17%) cited three times more often
than singling out Alex Rodriguez’s ineffectiveness for blame (5%). 9%
named Derek Jeter’s breaking his ankle.
Finally, with several major sports organizations suing the state of New Jersey
to block legalized gambling on sporting events, the poll asked if such
gambling damages the integrity of sports, and by a margin of 53% - 40%,
respondents said “yes.”
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