For More Than a Decade, The NY Yankees Have Been America’s Favorite Baseball Team

    New York, N.Y. – July 14, 2014 – The mid-point of the baseball season is now upon us as Major League Baseball pauses to celebrate their all stars. Those not playing in the All Star Game get a few days off to rest before the race to the end of the summer and post-season play begins in earnest. This means it is also time to see who America’s Favorite Baseball Team is this year.

    Among those who follow the sport, the New York Yankees again win the honor of being America’s Favorite, as they have each year since 2003. In the second spot on the list again are their long time arch-rivals, the Boston Red Sox. Moving up seven spots, from ten to three are the San Francisco Giants. Rounding out the top five are the Chicago Cubs at number four (rising 3 spots from last time) and, at number five, the Atlanta Braves, dropping two spots from number three last year.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,241 adults, of whom 763 follow Major League Baseball, surveyed online between June 4 and 16, 2014.

    Looking at the bottom half of the top ten favorite teams, tied for number six are the Los Angeles Dodgers (down from number 4 last year) and the Detroit Tigers (down from a tie for number 5), followed by the Milwaukee Brewers (#8, up from a 21st place tie), the Minnesota Twins (#9, up from a tie for #13) and in a tie for tenth, the Kansas City Royals (up from a tie for #19) and the St. Louis Cardinals (up from a tie for #11).

    Who is going to win it all – and who don’t people want there

    When it comes to the World Series, a repeat is not expected to be in the works as almost one in five baseball followers (17%) say the San Francisco Giants will win the Fall Classic this October, followed by the New York Yankees (13%), the Detroit Tigers (9%), the Oakland Athletics (8%), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (7%). Less than one in ten baseball followers (6%) say the Boston Red Sox will win again.

    And, where there is the team people think will win, there is also the team fans don’t want to see in the World Series. Two in five baseball followers (40%) say the New York Yankees are the one team they least want to see make it to the World Series. At a distant second, 14% say this about the Boston Red Sox, while 6% say this about the Los Angeles Dodgers and 4% do not want to see the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.

    Instant Replay

    For this baseball season, MLB instituted a new rule allowing each team’s manager to challenge one call with the final decision made through Instant Replay. Over three-quarters of baseball fans (77%) are aware of this new rule. When new rules come into play, there can be an adjustment time, but this may not be one of those rules as over four in five of those who follow baseball (83%) say it is a good thing for Major League Baseball overall with almost half (46%) saying it is very good for baseball. One of the concerns was it would slow the game down, but just one in five followers (19%) say the rule has slowed the game down at least somewhat, two in five (42%) say it has slowed the game a little bit and almost one-quarter (23%) say it has not impacted the pace of the game at all.

    Following baseball

    Over one-third of Americans (37%) say they follow Major League Baseball, a number that is up from both last year (34%) and 2011 (36%). Looking at who follows baseball, men are more likely to do so than women (47% versus 27%). There is also a regional divide, as almost half of Easterners and Midwesterners (46% each) and almost two in five Westerners (38%) say they follow baseball compared to one-quarter (25%) of those in the South.

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    TABLE 1

    FAVORITE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM: 1999 – 2014

    What is your favorite Major League Baseball team?

    Base: All adults who follow baseball

     

    Rank 1999

    Rank 2003

    Rank 2004

    Rank 2005

    Rank 2006

    Rank 2007

    Rank 2008

    Rank 2009

    Rank 2010

    Rank 2011

    Rank 2013

    Rank 2014

    New York Yankees

    2

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    1

    Boston Red Sox

    8

    6

    4

    4

    5

    3

    3

    2

    2

    2

    2

    2

    San Francisco Giants

    26

    9

    7

    =10

    =14

    =13

    =13

    9

    7

    14

    10

    3

    Chicago Cubs

    3

    7

    2

    3

    4

    5

    4

    =4

    5

    4

    7

    4

    Atlanta Braves

    1

    2

    3

    2

    3

    2

    2

    3

    3

    3

    3

    5

    Los Angeles Dodgers

    7

    8

    =9

    7

    =14

    11

    5

    =4

    8

    =5

    4

    =6

    Detroit Tigers

    10

    15

    5

    =19

    7

    6

    =7

    8

    =12

    10

    =5

    =6

    Milwaukee Brewers

    21

    23

    23

    24

    18

    10

    =13

    14

    11

    19

    =21

    8

    Minnesota Twins

    11

    5

    =17

    =13

    =21

    20

    11

    13

    9

    12

    =13

    9

    Kansas City Royals

    24

    =25

    =19

    =22

    =21

    28

    =20

    29

    19

    =17

    19

    =10

    St. Louis Cardinals

    4

    14

    13

    6

    6

    4

    9

    6

    10

    9

    =11

    =10

    New York Mets

    12

    3

    14

    5

    2

    7

    10

    11

    6

    =5

    8

    12

    Philadelphia Phillies

    16

    12

    6

    =13

    13

    18

    6

    7

    4

    7

    9

    =13

    Oakland Athletics

    19

    =20

    22

    27

    19

    19

    =23

    =20

    =23

    =23

    =27

    =13

    Cleveland Indians

    5

    4

    =9

    =19

    =11

    =13

    =7

    =25

    17

    =17

    =13

    =13

    Pittsburgh Pirates

    18

    =18

    =9

    =8

    =21

    =16

    =23

    22

    =25

    =23

    24

    16

    Arizona Diamondbacks

    NA

    =16

    =17

    16

    =14

    22

    19

    =23

    18

    =23

    25

    17

    Seattle Mariners

    6

    11

    =15

    =13

    10

    8

    17

    10

    =12

    11

    16

    =18

    Chicago White Sox

    20

    27

    27

    =10

    =11

    21

    =13

    12

    15

    16

    =11

    =18

    Colorado Rockies

    14

    24

    24

    26

    =25

    27

    =13

    =23

    =20

    =20

    20

    =20

    Baltimore Orioles

    9

    =18

    8

    12

    8

    =13

    22

    =17

    =20

    13

    =17

    =20

    Houston Astros

    22

    =20

    =9

    =17

    9

    12

    12

    19

    28

    22

    =27

    22

    Texas Rangers

    15

    13

    =15

    21

    =27

    =16

    =20

    =15

    =12

    8

    =5

    23

    Cincinnati Reds

    13

    10

    =19

    =8

    =14

    9

    18

    =15

    16

    15

    15

    =24

    Tampa Bay Rays

    NA

    28

    28

    =29

    28

    25

    28

    =17

    22

    26

    =21

    =24

    Miami Marlins

    25

    =25

    21

    28

    =27

    =23

    25

    =25

    29

    =27

    =27

    =26

    Washington Nationals

    NA

    NA

    NA

    =22

    24

    29

    26

    =27

    27

    =27

    26

    =26

    Los Angeles Angels

    23

    =16

    =25

    =17

    20

    =23

    29

    =27

    =25

    =20

    =17

    =26

    San Diego Padres

    17

    22

    =25

    25

    =25

    26

    27

    =20

    =23

    =29

    =21

    29

    Toronto Blue Jays

    28

    29

    29

    =29

    29

    30

    30

    30

    30

    =29

    =27

    30

    It should be noted that the sample was limited to the United States. It is therefore no surprise that the Canadian team placed last on this list in a survey where no Canadian residents are surveyed.


    TABLE 2

    WHO WILL WIN THE WORLD SERIES THIS YEAR?

    Which team do you think will win the World Series this fall?

    Base: All adults who follow baseball

    Total

    %

    San Francisco Giants

    17

    New York Yankees

    13

    Detroit Tigers

    9

    Oakland Athletics

    8

    Los Angeles Dodgers

    7

    Boston Red Sox

    6

    St. Louis Cardinals

    6

    Toronto Blue Jays

    4

    Washington Nationals

    3

    Milwaukee Brewers

    3

    Cleveland Indians

    3

    Atlanta Braves

    2

    Pittsburgh Pirates

    2

    Seattle Mariners

    2

    Baltimore Orioles

    2

    Kansas City Royals

    2

    Minnesota Twins

    1

    Chicago Cubs

    1

    Tampa Bay Rays

    1

    Texas Rangers

    1

    Los Angeles Angels

    1

    Philadelphia Phillies

    1

    New York Mets

    1

    Cincinnati Reds

    1

    San Diego Padres

    1

    Chicago White Sox

    1

    Miami Marlins

    *

    Houston Astros

    *

    Arizona Diamondbacks

    *

    Colorado Rockies

    *

    Note: *indicates less than 0.5%


    TABLE 3

    TEAM LEAST DESIRED FOR WORLD SERIES

    Regardless of what team you think will win, which one team do you least want to see make it to the World Series this fall?

    Base: All adults who follow baseball

    Total

    %

    New York Yankees

    40

    Boston Red Sox

    14

    Los Angeles Dodgers

    6

    Chicago Cubs

    4

    San Francisco Giants

    3

    Chicago White Sox

    3

    Atlanta Braves

    2

    San Diego Padres

    2

    New York Mets

    2

    Washington Nationals

    2

    St. Louis Cardinals

    2

    Milwaukee Brewers

    2

    Toronto Blue Jays

    2

    Oakland Athletics

    1

    Los Angeles Angels

    1

    Texas Rangers

    1

    Houston Astros

    1

    Minnesota Twins

    1

    Cleveland Indians

    1

    Detroit Tigers

    1

    Miami Marlins

    1

    Baltimore Orioles

    1

    Seattle Mariners

    1

    Cincinnati Reds

    1

    Arizona Diamondbacks

    1

    Tampa Bay Rays

    1

    Pittsburgh Pirates

    1

    Kansas City Royals

    1

    Philadelphia Phillies

    *

    Colorado Rockies

    *

    Note: *indicates less than 0.5%

     

    TABLE 4

    AWARENESS OF INSTANT REPLAY RULE

    As you may or may not know, the MLB instituted a rules change for this season, allowing each team’s manager to challenge one call, with the final decision made through an instant replay (a second challenge can be issued if the first results in an overturned call). Prior to being informed of it in this survey, were you aware of this rule?

    Base: All adults who follow baseball

    Total

    Gender

    Male

    Female

    %

    %

    %

    Yes

    77

    84

    68

    No

    23

    16

    32

     

    TABLE 5

    BENEFIT OF INSTANT REPLAY TO GAME

    Do you think the change in the Instant Replay rule is a good thing or a bad thing for Major League Baseball overall?

    Base: All adults who follow baseball

    Total

    Generation

    Millennials (18-36)

    Gen X (37-48)

    Baby Boomers (49-67)

    Matures (68+)

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    GOOD (NET)

    83

    79

    78

    89

    85

    Very good

    46

    37

    44

    54

    45

    Somewhat good

    37

    41

    34

    34

    40

    BAD (NET)

    10

    15

    9

    8

    5

    Somewhat bad

    7

    11

    7

    6

    2

    Very bad

    3

    4

    2

    2

    4

    Not at all sure

    7

    6

    13

    4

    9

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 6

    IMPACT OF INSTANT REPLAY CHANGE

    How do you think this rule has impacted the pace of a typical baseball game?

    Base: All adults who follow baseball

    Total

    Generation

    Millennials (18-36)

    Gen X (37-48)

    Baby Boomers (49-67)

    Matures (68+)

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    SLOWED GAMES SOMEWHAT/A GREAT DEAL (NET)

    22

    37

    25

    9

    23

    Slowed games a great deal

    4

    5

    5

    1

    7

    Slowed games somewhat

    19

    32

    20

    8

    16

    Slowed games a little bit

    42

    28

    33

    59

    44

    Has not impacted the pace at all

    23

    20

    23

    26

    18

    Not at all sure

    13

    16

    19

    7

    15

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding


    TABLE 7

    WHO FOLLOWS MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – BY DEMOGRAPHIC GROUP

    Do you follow major league baseball or not?

    Summary of Yes Responses

    Base: All adults

    Total

    %

    All Adults

    37

    Sex

    Male

    47

    Female

    27

    Age

    Millennials (18 – 36)

    35

    Generation X (37 – 48)

    36

    Baby Boomers (49 – 67)

    40

    Matures (68+)

    35

    Race/Ethnicity

    White

    37

    African American

    34

    Hispanic

    42

    Region

    East

    46

    Midwest

    46

    South

    25

    West

    38

    Household Income

    Less than $35,000

    31

    $35,000 to $49,999

    31

    $50,000 to $74,999

    41

    $75,000 to $99,999

    45

    $100,000 and over

    42

    Education

    High School or less

    32

    Some college

    37

    College graduate

    47

    Post graduate

    36

    Political Party

    Republican

    37

    Democrat

    38

    Independent

    39


     

    TABLE 8

    WHO FOLLOWS MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – TREND

    Do you follow major league baseball or not?

    Summary of Yes Responses

    Base: All adults

    Total

    %

    2014

    37

    2013

    34

    2011

    36

    2010

    36

    2009

    41

    2008

    40

    2007

    37

    2006

    38

    2005

    37

    2004

    38

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between June 11 and 16, 2014 among 2,241 adults (aged 18 and over) of whom 763 follow Major League Baseball. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

    The Harris Poll® #66, July 14, 2014

    By Regina A. Corso, VP, Harris Poll and Public Relations Research