Yankees own Fairfield County, edge Red Sox as state's favorite team
Updated 1:42 pm, Saturday, June 18, 2011
While Red Sox Nation may be growing across the country, a poll released Thursday morning shows that Connecticut is as much of a Yankees state as it has ever been, and that Fairfield County once again has proven to be a paradise for fans of the Bronx Bombers.
The Quinnipiac University poll reveals that Fairfield County belongs heavily to the Yankees, with 57 percent of fans polled stating their allegiance to them. The Red Sox topped the Mets by a slim margin of 16 percent to 15 percent in Fairfield County.
Statewide, the Yankees, who were World Series champions two seasons ago, hold their largest margin since 2007 (the last time the Sox were champs) with 43 percent of those polled favoring the Yankees to 38 percent for the Red Sox and 7 percent for the Mets.
Seven other teams pick up 1 percent of the state's fan population, while 3 percent said they either don't care or don't have a preference.
"Forget the AL East standings. The Yankees have topped the Red Sox in eight of our nine Connecticut Pennant Races," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz.
The poll also showed that baseball has remained popular in the state. Fifty-six percent of adults surveyed said they are either very interested or somewhat interested in Major League Baseball. That number has not moved much since polling on the topic began nine years ago.
It has been a come-from-behind effort for the Yankees, who briefly squandered their hold on the state to Boston fans in 2008. At that time, the Sox had won two World Series in five years, while the Yankees were on an eight-year drought and had just missed the playoffs for the first time since 1995.
"In 2003, our first poll, the Yankees led by 14 points," Schwartz said. "The Red Sox chipped away at that lead until they took a statistically insignificant 1 point lead in 2008."
But after a World Series victory for the Yankees in 2009, Derek Jeter and company reclaimed the top spot in the state.
Meanwhile, the poll revealed a distinction among male and female baseball fans across the state. The Yankees are favored 45-37 over their AL East rivals by men, while women apparently prefer the Red Sox over the Yankees by a margin of 42 percent to 39 percent.
"The gender gap, with men backing the Bombers and women backing the Red Sox, might make for some interesting family discussions -- or dating dynamics," Schwartz said.
Other teams across the state receiving support in the survey included the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies and the Minnesota Twins, who have a Double-A affiliate team in New Britain, the Rock Cats. Those teams all picked up 1 percent of the survey results, while a scattered number of the MLB's other 20 teams picked up less than 1 percent of those surveyed.
From June 8 to 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,456 Connecticut adults with a margin of error of plus/minus 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.