How Every NFL Team’s Fan Base Leans Politically
FiveThirtyEight crunches the numbers, and the results may surprise you.
Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight has predicted election outcomes—and even gave President Trump a fighting chance in 2016 (we all know how that one turned out).
So, of course, the mathletes behind the website have decided to weigh in on the “Trump versus the National Football League” storyline, that’s been dogging us now for weeks, the way they know best: by the numbers.
Through Google Trends data, representing fan interest, FiveThirtyEight set out to identify how each NFL team’s fan base leaned politically—and the results are staggering.
Of the 32 teams in the league, just six leaned Republican—Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers—with a seventh, the Cincinnati Bengals, coming in even (i.e., equal leanings towards the Democrats and Republicans). These also tended to be areas where President Trump found the most support during the 2016 election.
Another interesting data point is the teams that are on the cusp of ranking even like the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had a fan base that was just 0.3 left-leaning. That may help explain the mixed reaction in Pittsburgh following the team’s Week 3 anthem controversy, in which a lone Steeler stood at the tunnel for the anthem.
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