DETROIT (CBS Detroit) The Red Wings are on the winning streak of a lifetime and the Lions posted a winning season — but apparently no sports team in Detroit can overcome the love affair between the Tigers and sports fans.
A new poll shows Michigan chooses the Tigers as their favorite professional sports team in the state.
Results from Public Policy Poling show: The Tigers get 29 percent of the vote; the Lions get 27 percent; the Wings get 20 percent; and the Pistons, 6 percent.
The poll also shows there’s a significant racial divide in who voters pick as their favorite teams. Among white voters the Tigers win easily with 33 percent to 24 percent for the Lions, 22 percent for the Red Wings, and just 3 percent for the Pistons. But among black voters the Tigers take up the basement at 5 percent, trailing the Lions at 54 percent, Pistons at 23 percent, and even the Red Wings at 8 percent.
That’s just another sign that baseball has a lot of work to do to garner interest from African Americans.
It’s also notable in this highly political season that Republicans pick the Tigers over the Lions 36-27, while Democrats pick the Lions over the Tigers 32-24.
In other stats:
* 37 percent of voters in the state say they’re Michigan fans to 31 percent who side with Michigan State and 32 percent who don’t care either way. There is somewhat of an ideological divide on this question. ‘Very liberal’ Michiganders pick the Wolverines 55-26, while ‘very conservative’ ones pick the Spartans 37-30. White voters are pretty evenly split, going for Michigan 34-32, but 53-22 support from black voters pushes the Maize and Blue’s lead out to 6 points.
-Michigan State and Michigan fans are both pretty happy with their football coaches. Brady Hoke gets a 64/6 approval rating from Michigan fans, and Mark Dantonio does even better with Spartan partisans at a 68/4 approval. The Wolverine fan base has softened its opinions on Rich Rodriguez a little bit since his departure last year. He’s still unpopular, with only 26% of fans seeing him favorably to 32% with a negative opinion. But it’s an improvement from December of 2010 when his favorability breakdown was 20/38. Rodriguez’s Michigan poll numbers are certainly a lot better than in West Virginia where we found him at 15/56 last year.
-Tom Izzo has a 78/3 approval rating with the MSU fan base. Suffice it to say we don’t find many people from any walk of life hitting 78% in our polling. John Beilein’s at only 39/8 with Michigan fans, 53% of whom have no opinion about him. Getting Michigan back to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 18 years might be what he needs to get the fan base to take notice.
The full analysis is also available here.