62 percent said legalized sports betting influences people’s reaction to officiating of NFL games; Democrats and Republicans Can agree on something: the quality of officiating.
South Orange NJ, October 29, 2019 — Despite seeing nearly half of all disputed calls reversed by video replay, Americans perceive the officiating of Major League Baseball better than any other major sport.
And what’s truly remarkable in this day and age of polarization, is that Democrats and Republicans are in agreement on whether officiating is good or terrible on a sport-by-sport basis.
“At last, something they can agree on,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. “The differences were negligible in almost every case.”
These are the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted last week among 703 adult Americans across the country on both landlines and cellphones. The Poll has a margin of error of +/-3.8 percent. (The margin of error for the smaller sample of Democrats and Republicans, 176 of each, is +/- 7.5 percent.)
Major League Baseball scored a 64 percent approval rating for umpiring, with only 3 percent saying it was terrible. And here we find 65 percent of Democrats saying it is good, and 67 percent of Republicans.
For the NFL, 48 percent rated the officiating as good (57 percent Democrats; 54 percent Republicans), but 27 percent called it terrible. A separate question, the suggestion of using replay on every call, found the public equally divided – 41 percent approving, and 42 percent disapproving, with 17 percent having no opinion. (While the parties can agree on officiating, they don’t agree on how to improve it. On this there was division by party, with 51 percent of Democrats approving of replay on every play, but only 27 percent of Republicans approving.)
The NBA had a 49 percent rating of “good” for its officiating; the NHL 44 percent; college basketball 48 percent, and college football 53 percent, all very close along party lines (see breakdown by party at the end of this release).
Percent saying that each sport has “good officiating.”
|Major League Baseball||65||67|
|National Football League||57||54|
|National Basketball Assoc.||55||57|
|National Hockey League||43||45|
Asked if legalized sports betting influences people’s reaction to officiating of NFL games, 62 percent said yes, 20 percent no and 18 percent don’t know – again, fairly equal along party lines.
About the poll:
This poll was conducted by telephone October 21-23 among adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.Recently chosen for inclusion in iPoll by Cornell’s Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, its findings have been published everywhere from USA Today, ESPN, The New York Times, Washington Post, AP, and Reuters to Fox News and most points in between.
- The NFL has been criticized recently for a series of questionable calls by officials. One suggestion is to have a referee overseeing every call made or not made on video and confirming or overruling the call on the field. Do you approve or disapprove?
Dem Rep Ind Other
1 – Approve 41 51 27 43
2 – Disapprove 42 40 56 39
3 – Don’t know/No opinion 17 9 17 18
I’m going to read you a few sports. Tell me if you think the officiating is good or terrible:
- Major League Baseball
1 – Good 64 65 67 63
2 – Terrible 3 2 7 3
3 – Don’t know/No opinion 33 33 27 33
- National Football League
1 – Good 48 57 54 41
2 – Terrible 27 19 29 31
3 – Don’t know/No opinion 25 24 17 28
- National Basketball Association
1 – Good 49 55 57 42
2 – Terrible 13 19 29 17
3 – Don’t know/No opinion 38 24 17 41
- National Hockey League
1 – Good 44 43 45 45
2 – Terrible 6 6 6 5
3 – Don’t know/No opinion 51 52 49 50
- College Basketball
1 – Good 48 55 60 38
2 – Terrible 9 8 3 13
3 – Don’t know/No opinion 44 37 37 49
- College Football
1 – Good 53 65 67 41
2 – Terrible 12 8 13 14
3 – Don’t know/No opinion 34 26 20 45
- Is sports betting, which has been legalized in many states, influencing people’s reaction to officiating of NFL games?
1 – Yes 62 64 62 60
2 – No 20 19 26 18
3 – Don’t know 18 18 13 22
- Would you describe yourself as a Democrat, Republican, Independent or something else?
1 – Democrat 25
2 – Republican 25
3 – Independent 30
4 – Other 15
5 – Don’t know/No Opinion 4
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