STATE – Four out of five New Jersey residents will be watching Sunday’s big football game, which pits the New York Giants against the New England Patriots for the NFL title, according to a poll conducted by Monmouth University days before kickoff.
Three out of five (60 percent) say they will be watching the game closely and 23 percent say they will have the game on but are more likely to be noshing on snacks than keeping an eye on every play.
A majority of 53 percent will be rooting for the Giants compared to just 8 percent who will cheer on the New England Patriots. Another 21 percent of state residents say it doesn’t matter to them who wins and 17 percent won’t watch the game at all.
“Residents north of I-195 are geared up for the big game on Sunday, hoping to see a Giants victory. South Jerseyans will also be watching the game, but with much less invested in the outcome, a reminder that we are a state divided when it comes to team loyalties,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Gov. Chris Christie has made a point of referring to the NFC champs as the “New Jersey Giants” since they play here, train here, and the majority of the team lives here. But when asked what the team should call themselves, opinion is divided – 40 percent say they should have to call themselves “New Jersey” while 34 percent say that it’s okay if they stick with “New York.” Another 22 percent volunteer that it doesn’t matter to them what the team is called. Among self-professed fans of the Giants, though, a clear majority (54 percent) want them to identify with their home state compared to 34 percent who are fine with their association with the city across the Hudson River.
“New Jersey’s Giant fans are loyal to their team, and it seems as if they want Big Blue to return the favor,” said Murray.
For the record, 31 percent of New Jersey residents consider themselves Giants fans, 16 percent are Eagles fans, 7 percent Jets fans, and 16 percent fans of another NFL franchise. But it’s worth noting that in South Jersey, a large majority (57 percent) of residents are Eagles fans. This number is greater than the percentage of Giants and Jets fans combined in North (45 percent) and Central (44 percent) Jersey.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone with 602 New Jersey adults from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2012. This sample has a margin of error of + 4.0 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
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