Polling the NBA, NCAA, and MLB in Florida

by Greg Pollowitz

Here’s the latest from Public Policy Polling.

The NBA playoffs? Meh. . .

The Heat are in the NBA finals right now but most of Florida doesn’t care. 31% of voters in the state say they’re rooting for the Heat, 13% say they’re rooting for the Spurs, and 57% say they don’t care. LeBron James has a 38/14 favorability rating- it’s 28/16 with white voters and 79/6 with African Americans.

Not much love for the Hurricanes. . .

Florida narrowly edges Florida State for college sports loyalties in the state, 22/19. Central Florida is third at 11%, followed by Miami at 10%, Florida Atlantic at 5%, South Florida at 4%, and Florida International at 2%. Florida coach Will Muschamp is in tepid standing with the Gator fan base- just 33% say they approve of the job he’s doing to 19% who disapprove, with a 48% plurality still taking a wait and see approach. His approval rating is down from 46% in September. Despite winning the Heisman Trophy and a national championship last fall, 72% of voters in the state say they have no opinion about Jameis Winston. 10% see him favorably and 18% unfavorably.

And Tampa’s success on the baseball diamond does not translate into fan support. . .

Florida’s teams continue to do pretty poorly when it comes to MLB loyalty in the state- the Braves lead with 17%, followed by the Marlins at 14%, Yankees at 11%, Rays at 10%, Red Sox at 8%, and Cubs at 5%. The few fans the Marlins and Rays do have remain optimistic for the season though. 65% of Marlins fans think the team will make the playoffs this year, 38% think they will make it to the World Series, and 19% think they’ll win it all. Despite an abysmal start to the season Rays fans remain hopeful too- 59% think they’ll make the playoffs although only 20% think they’ll get to the World Series and just 12% think they’ll win it. Baseball fans are either incredibly optimistic people or lie to pollsters about their expectations- or perhaps spin is a better word than lie.