Much of this electoral season has been characterized by the importance of undecided voters in key primary states. Now it appears that "undecideds" may determine which team America wants to see win Super Bowl XLII.
Nearly equal numbers of Americans are rooting for the New York Giants (38 percent) and New England Patriots (33 percent) in this weekend’s NFL title tilt, according to the latest FOX News poll. The difference might come down to the 6 percent who are still uncommitted.
As in politics, apathy has its place in the equation as well. Almost one-quarter of the population (23 percent) either don't follow football or aren't rooting for either team.
Click here for poll results. (pdf)
Among those who identify themselves as football fans (53 percent overall), the Giants have a somewhat better advantage — 50 percent are cheering for the Giants and 40 percent for the Patriots. However, these results seem to show that national media assumptions that the underdog New Yorkers are overwhelming sentimental favorites are unfounded.
Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News from January 30 to January 31. The poll has a 3-point error margin.
When we ask respondents which team they think will win, the verdict is quite different. In this scenario, a majority (54 percent) says the AFC Champion Patriots will win, while just over one-fifth (21 percent) prognosticate a victory for the NFC Champion Giants.
Among self-identifying football fans, the undefeated (18-0) Patriots' perceived advantage widens to 69 percent—with 26 percent thinking the Giants will prevail.
In week one of the NFL season the New England Patriots were found to have violated an NFL rule against filming the opposition’s defensive signals. The league imposed severe penalties on both the team and head coach Bill Belichick.
The poll finds that while a substantial minority of football fans (43 percent) thinks this incident tainted the team’s run to the Super Bowl, a slim 52 percent majority says ñno,î the indiscretion does not call into question the team's record achievement.