In Depth: Topics A to Z

Baseball

Are You a Fan of Professional Baseball, or Not?

For each of the following, please say whether you are a fan of that sport or not. Professional baseball

What is your favorite sport to watch?

Football

Baseball

Basketball

Ice
hockey

Auto
racing

Ice/ Figure
skating

%

%

%

%

%

%

2008 Dec 4-7

41

10

9

4

3

1

2007 Dec 6-9

43

13

11

4

3

2

2006 Dec 11-14

43

11

12

2

4

3

2005 Dec 5-8

34

12

12

4

5

3

2004 Dec 5-8

37

10

13

3

5

4

2003 Dec 11-14

37

10

14

5

5

6

2002 Dec 5-8

37

12

13

3

5

4

2001 Mar 26-28

28

12

16

3

6

4

2000 Mar 30-Apr 2

33

13

15

5

5

4

1998 Nov 20-22

36

16

12

3

3

2

1997 Apr 18-20 ^

30

14

17

3

7

2

1995 Apr 17-19

32

16

15

3

2

2

1994 Sep 16-20

37

16

13

1

2

3

1994 Aug 8-9

35

21

11

3

2

3

1992 Sept

38

16

12

4

2

2

1990 Feb

35

16

15

3

1

2

1981 Jan

38

16

9

2

1

2

1972 Oct

32

24

9

4

2

1

1960 Dec

21

34

9

3

*

1

1948 Apr 9-14

17

39

10

3

1

*

1937 Mar 24-29

23

34

8

2

1

1

^ WORDING: What is your favorite sport to follow?

* Less than 0.5%

As you may know, former Major League Baseball player Pete Rose is ineligible for baseball's Hall of Fame due to charges that he had gambled on baseball games. Do you think he should or should not be eligible for admission to the Hall of Fame?

Should be

Should not be

No opinion

%

%

%

National adults

2009 Aug 6-9

60

35

5

2003 Jan 9-11

54

43

3

2003 Jul 25-27

68

28

4

2003 Mar 14-15

62

33

5

1999 Jul 13-14

59

38

3

Sports fans

2009 Aug 6-9

66

32

3

2003 Jan 9-11

56

42

2

2003 Jul 25-27

74

25

1

2003 Mar 14-15

65

32

3

Since Pete Rose was banned from baseball, he has admitted to gambling on his own team when he was manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Recently, many players have admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids. Which do you think is the more serious offense -- [ROTATED: Pete Rose's gambling (or) players' use of performance enhancing drugs]?

Pete Rose's
gambling

Players using
performance-
enhancing
drugs

Equally
serious (vol.)

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

National adults

2009 Aug 6-9

14

75

9

2

Sports fans

2009 Aug 6-9

17

75

6

1

(vol.) = Volunteered response

As you may know, Major League Baseball player Barry Bonds acknowledged that he used steroids but said he was not aware that the substances he was using were actually steroids. Do you think he is -- [ROTATED: definitely telling the truth, probably telling the truth, probably not telling the truth, (or) definitely not telling truth]?

Definitely
telling
the truth

Probably
telling
the truth

Probably
not
telling
the truth

Definitely
not
telling
truth

No
opinion

National adults

%

%

%

%

%

2009 Feb 20-22

1

9

35

49

6

2005 Feb 25-27

2

17

42

34

5

2004 Dec 17-19

3

19

42

33

3

Sports fans

2009 Feb 20-22

2

9

35

51

4

2005 Feb 25-27

3

17

40

37

3

2004 Dec 17-19

5

18

39

37

1

(Asked of professional baseball fans) For each of the following former baseball players, please say whether you think he should or should not be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame? [RANDOM ORDER]

A. Mark McGwire

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

%

%

%

2008 Feb 21-24

61

32

7

2006 Dec 8-10

57

35

7

2005 Aug 5-7

60

32

8

B. Jim Rice

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

%

%

%

2008 Feb 21-24

47

19

34

2006 Dec 8-10

53

13

34

C. Jose Canseco

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

%

%

%

2008 Feb 21-24

40

49

11

2006 Dec 8-10

48

40

12

D. Pete Rose

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

%

%

%

2008 Feb 21-24

66

31

3

For comparison: Before the gambling allegations Pete Rose was expected to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Do you think Rose should be elected to the Hall of Fame now?

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

%

%

%

1999 Nov 18-21

79

18

3

E. Barry Bonds

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

%

%

%

2008 Feb 21-24

46

50

4

2007 May 4-6 ^

62

33

5

2006 Dec 8-10

48

44

9

2006 Mar 10-12 ^

49

43

7

2005 Aug 5-7

57

34

9

^ Asked as a stand-alone question

F. Sammy Sosa

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

%

%

%

2008 Feb 21-24

68

26

5

2006 Dec 8-10

63

31

7

2005 Aug 5-7

59

33

8

G. Roger Clemens

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

%

%

%

2008 Feb 21-24

62

29

9

H. Rickey Henderson

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

%

%

%

2008 Feb 21-24

61

14

26

(Asked of professional baseball fans) As you may know, George Mitchell submitted the report on his investigation into steroid use in Major League Baseball last December. Do you think Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig should -- or should not -- punish current Major League Baseball players who are named in the report for having used steroids in the past?

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

%

%

%

2008 Feb 21-24

39

55

5

(Asked of professional baseball fans) As you may know, Roger Clemens testified before Congress that he never used steroids. Based on what you have heard or read, do you think Clemens was -- [ROTATED: lying (or) telling the truth]?

Lying

Telling the truth

No opinion

%

%

%

2008 Feb 21-24

57

31

12

(Asked of professional baseball fans) As you may know, George Mitchell released the report on his investigation into steroid use in Major League Baseball on Thursday (Dec. 13, 2007). Does this report on steroid use by Major League Baseball players make you -- [ROTATED: more enthusiastic about professional baseball, does it not make any difference, or does it make you less enthusiastic about professional baseball]?

More
enthusiastic

Not make any
difference

Less
enthusiastic

No
opinion

2007 Dec 14-16

4%

44

51

1

(Asked of professional baseball fans) Thinking about the findings in the report, would you say you are surprised by the findings, or not surprised?

Surprised

Not surprised

No opinion

2007 Dec 14-16

15%

83

2

(Asked of professional baseball fans) Based on what you have heard or read, overall, do you think the report is fair or unfair?

Fair

Unfair

No opinion

2007 Dec 14-16

74%

18

8

(Asked of professional baseball fans) Do you think that players named in the report should be banned from consideration for the Hall of Fame, or not?

Yes, should

Yes, should not

No opinion

2007 Dec 14-16

48%

45

7

(Asked of professional baseball fans) Next, we'd like to ask for your views on the use of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs by Major League Baseball players. Compared with five years ago, do you think that number of Major League Baseball players that use these drugs has increased, stayed the same, or decreased? [Has it (increased/decreased) a lot or only a little?]

Increased
a lot

Increased
a little

Stayed
the same

Decreased
a little

Decreased
a lot

No
opinion

2007 Nov 30-Dec 2

23%

17

27

14

17

2

(Asked of professional baseball fans) As you may know, George Mitchell will soon submit his report on steroid use in baseball to Commissioner Bud Selig. Do you think Bud Selig should -- or should not -- punish current Major League Baseball players who are named in the report for having used steroids in the past?

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

2007 Nov 30-Dec 2

60%

37

3

(Asked of baseball fans who say Bud Selig should punish current MLB players who are names in the report for having used steroids in the past) Do you think he should -- [ROTATED: suspend those players, (or) fine those players but not suspend them]?

COMBINED RESPONSES: BASED ON PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL FANS

2007 Nov 30-Dec 2

%

Yes, should punish those players

60

(Suspend those players)

(43)

(Fine but not suspend those players)

(16)

(Unsure)

(1)

No, should not punish those players

37

No opinion

3

(Asked of sports fans) We'd like to know your views on how widespread the use of performance-enhancing drugs is in various professional sports. Just your best guess, how many athletes in -- [RANDOM ORDER] -- use performance-enhancing drugs -- all or almost all, most, some, only a few, or none?

2007 Jun 1-3
(sorted by "all or
almost all/most")

All or
almost all

Most

Some

Only
a few

None

No
opinion

All/
most

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Professional football

7

26

45

18

2

2

33

Professional baseball

7

20

46

24

1

2

27

Track and field

5

16

45

25

5

4

21

Professional cycling

6

14

37

31

5

7

20

Professional basketball

4

12

43

32

5

3

16

Swimming

3

6

37

34

10

10

9

(Asked of sports fans) Do you think each of the following sports is doing enough -- or not doing enough -- to deal with the use of performance-enhancing drugs by its athletes? How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

2007 Jun 1-3
(sorted by "doing enough")

Doing
enough

Not doing
enough

No
opinion

%

%

%

Swimming

51

31

18

Professional cycling

48

42

10

Track and field

45

43

12

Professional basketball

45

48

6

Professional football

33

63

4

Professional baseball

30

67

3

(Asked of professional baseball fans) Who do you consider to be the greatest home run hitter in the history of Major League Baseball? (OPEN-ENDED)

2007 May 4-6

%

Hank Aaron

36

Babe Ruth

33

Barry Bonds

8

Mark McGwire

3

Mickey Mantle

2

Sammy Sosa

1

Willie Mays

1

Ted Williams

1

Albert Pujols

1

Roger Maris

*

Other

5

None

*

No opinion

9

* Less than 0.5%

(Asked of professional baseball fans) If Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's record for most career home runs, would you consider Barry Bonds to be the greatest home run hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, or not?

Yes, would

No, would not

No opinion

2007 May 4-6

34%

62

4

(Asked of professional baseball fans) Do you think Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig should or should not be present when Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's career home run record?

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

2007 May 4-6

54%

29

17

(Asked of professional baseball fans) If Barry Bonds retires with the record for most career home runs, would you like to see Alex Rodriguez break that record in the future, or not?

Yes, would

No, would not

No opinion

2007 May 4-6

73%

18

9

(Asked of professional baseball fans) Just your best guess, do you think Barry Bonds has -- or has not -- used illegal steroids while playing Major League Baseball?

Yes, has

No, has not

No opinion

2007 May 4-6

72%

17

11

2006 Apr 7-9

78%

12

11

2005 Mar 18-20

75%

14

11

^ Asked in rotation with Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro

(Asked of baseball fans) Compared to previous baseball seasons, are you more enthusiastic, less enthusiastic, or as enthusiastic about the upcoming season?

More
enthusiastic

Less
enthusiastic

As
enthusiastic

No
opinion

2007 Mar 23-25

18%

30

50

2

(Asked of professional baseball fans who think Mark McGwire should be elected to the Hall of Fame) Do you think Mark McGwire should be elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007, the first year he is eligible, or should he be elected in a future year?

COMBINED RESULTS: BASED ON PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL FANS

2006 Dec 8-10

%

Should be elected

57

(Elected in 2007)

(23)

(Elected in future year)

(34)

Should not be elected

35

No opinion

7

Next, as you may know, a federal grand jury in San Francisco has been considering possible perjury and tax evasion charges against Major League Baseball player Barry Bonds.

Do you personally believe these allegations against Barry Bonds are -- [ROTATED: definitely true, probably true, probably not true, (or) definitely not true]?

Definitely
true

Probably
true

Probably
not true

Definitely
not true

No
opinion

National adults

2006 Jul 21-23

7%

45

15

4

29

Baseball fans

2006 Jul 21-23

11%

50

15

6

18

Do you believe Barry Bonds is being treated fairly or unfairly in this case?

Fairly

Unfairly

No opinion

National adults

2006 Jul 21-23

44%

26

30

Baseball fans

2006 Jul 21-23

51%

31

18

(Asked of professional baseball fans) As you may know, for the first time since 2001, there has been an increase in the number of home runs hit in Major League Baseball. What do you think is the most likely cause of the increase -- [ROTATED: hitters continuing to use performance-enhancing drugs, a change in the way baseballs are made, a decline in the quality of pitching, (or) an increase in the quality of hitting]?

2006 Jun 9-11

%

Hitters continuing to use performance-enhancing drugs

47

An increase in the quality of hitting

27

A decline in the quality of pitching

9

A change in the way baseballs are made

8

None of these (vol.)

1

Other (vol.)

1

No opinion

6

(vol.) = Volunteered response

(Asked of sports fans) Who do you consider to be the greatest home run hitter in the history of Major League Baseball? [Open-ended]

2006 May 5-7

2004 Dec 17-19

%

%

Babe Ruth

43

35

Hank Aaron

26

23

Barry Bonds

3

13

Mark McGwire

2

6

Roger Maris

1

2

Mickey Mantle

1

2

Albert Pujols

1

--

Willie Mays

1

1

Sammy Sosa

1

1

Ted Williams

*

1

Other

6

5

No opinion

14

11

* Less than 0.5%

(Asked of professional baseball fans) As you may know, Major League Baseball has passed a new policy that imposes longer suspensions for players who use steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. What do you think the result of this policy will be -- will it -- [ROTATED: eliminate the use of these types of drugs from the game, greatly reduce the use of these types of drugs, but not eliminate it, reduce the use of these types of drugs to a small extent, (or will it) not reduce the use of these types of drugs in the game at all]?

Eliminate

Greatly
reduce

Reduce to
a small
extent

Not reduce
at all

No
opinion

2006 Apr 7-9

6%

50

33

7

3

(Asked of professional baseball fans) Would you rather see Barry Bonds -- [ROTATED: play baseball this year, (or would you rather see him) retire]?

Play

Retire

No opinion

2006 Mar 10-12

41%

46

13

(Asked of professional baseball fans) If Major League Baseball officials conclude that Barry Bonds took steroids, do you think they should -- or should not -- take away his batting records, including the record for most home runs in a single season?

Yes, should

No, should not

No opinion

2006 Mar 10-12

52%

44

4

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