MLB’s ratings sink with GOP
Major League Baseball’s favorability among Republicans has taken a hit since its decision earlier this month to move its All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest of Georgia’s controversial voting law, according to a Morning Consult poll published Tuesday.
The survey found that at the end of last week, the MLB had a net favorability of just 12 percentage points, a sharp 35-point decrease from mid-March.
Alternatively, the MLB has a 41 percentage point favorability among Democrats, and a 26 percent favorability rate among independents.
The Morning Consult poll, conducted among 1,121 U.S. adults April 5-11, comes after the MLB held the highest net favorability among Republicans of the four major sports leagues, including the NBA, NFL and NHL.
The poll’s net favorability was calculated by taking the difference between the number of respondents with a positive opinion of the league and the share with a negative opinion.
Republicans have slammed the MLB since its decision to relocate the All-Star Game to Denver, with some GOP lawmakers publicly scrutinizing Commissioner Rob Manfred’s membership at Georgia’s exclusive Augusta National Golf Club and threatening to take away MLB’s long-held antitrust exemption.
Former President Trump also suggested that his supporters “boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections,” and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced last week that he would no longer be throwing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opening game in opposition to the MLB’s decision.
Manfred announced the decision to move the game earlier this month following conversations with teams and players, writing in a statement that the move to relocate was “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport.”
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Manfred added at the time.
Democrats and voting rights activists have condemned the voting bill signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) last month, which includes restrictive measures such as requiring photo IDs for absentee ballots and limiting the number of drop box locations for ballots.
Opponents of the law say it disproportionately limits voting access for people of color, while Republicans have argued that the measures are meant to restore confidence in Georgia’s election system, which was repeatedly called into question by Trump and his allies in 2020 through unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.
Kemp on Saturday argued that the decision to pull the All-Star Game out of Atlanta will further hurt “minority-owned businesses that have been hit harder than most because of an invisible virus by no fault of their own.”
Tuesday’s Morning Consult poll reported a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
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