Tuesday, February 08, 2011

More pulling for UNC than Duke, poll says

Proving that you can poll on anything and get folks to read it, Public Policy Polling reports than more than a third of North Carolinians will be pulling for the UNC Tar Heels in Wednesday's matchup with Duke's Blue Devils in men's basketball at Cameron Indoor Stadium while a little less than one-fourth will be pulling for the Blue Devils. Well, UNC has graduated a lot more people than Duke over the years. But what in the world are the other 40 percent or so of residents who don't favor either one thinking?

PPP, a firm that does a lot of work for Democrats and which throws in questions about other pressing issues of worldwide importance -- such as ACC basketball from time to time -- also found that Tar Heel fans have a better impression of Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski than Blue Devil fans have of Roy Williams  -- and that Coach K has better overall popularity numbers.

There's plenty of fodder here to hash over, so have at it. But as a former Carolina cheerleader (1965-67) I've got to say: Go Heels!

From PPP's news release this morning:

PPP's annual poll in conjunction with the first Carolina-Duke game finds that 37% of North Carolinians will be rooting for the Tar Heels tomorrow night compared to 22% in the Blue Devils' corner. The largest group of people in the state, at 41%, is indifferent.

The numbers show that Duke has not received any bounce in popularity from winning the national championship last year. The 2010 version of this poll found UNC favored by a 35-21 margin so things have basically remained exactly the same. Every demographic subgroup of the population we poll by ideology, gender, party, race, age, and region is rooting for UNC. There are some disparities though that match the conventional wisdom about each school's fan base. For instance Democrats prefer UNC by a greater than 2:1 margin at 43-21, but Republicans do so only narrowly at 31-26.

Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams both remain overwhelmingly popular with the North Carolinians who have an opinion about them. Krzyzewski is viewed favorably by 47% of voters in the state to 14% with a negative opinion. That's a very slight improvement from a 44/13 spread a year ago. 38% of voters have a positive view of Williams to just 10% with an unfavorable one, numbers nearly identical to the 39/10 he posted last year.

Contrary to what you would expect most respondents describing themselves as UNC fans have a favorable opinion of Krzyzewski- 45% see him favorably to 25% with a negative view. Even among those describing themselves as hardcore Carolina fans Coach K's favorability is 45/38. It's a relatively small segment of the UNC fan base- although in the interest of full disclosure that small segment includes me- that truly hates Krzyzewski.

Duke fans are not as charitable toward Williams. Overall Blue Devils are pretty evenly divided on the UNC coach with 32% holding a favorable opinion of him and 33% with a negative one. Self described 'hardcore' Duke fans are not friendly to Roy at all though- just 27% rate him positively while 51% say they don't like him.

The other interesting thing to look at within this poll is how Tar Heel fans feel toward Williams. This poll was conducted two weeks ago, before the team's impressive recent stretch against Miami, NC State, Boston College, and Florida State. 64% of Carolina fans at that time said they had a favorable opinion of Williams to only 3% with an unfavorable one. Among 'hardcore' UNC fans 90% expressed support for Williams with 1%- literally a single respondent- saying they had an unfavorable opinion of him. I can guarantee you Barack Obama would love it if 90% of Democrats were behind him. There may be some folks on message boards and calling in to radio talk shows who are UNC fans and unhappy with Williams but they account for a very, very meager portion of the overall fan base.

This analysis is also available on our blog:


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really hate PPP polls !!