Sports fandom and political attitudes

Emily A. Thorson, Michael Serazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


A majority of Americans identify as sports fans, and sports broadcasts attract substantially larger audiences than news on both broadcast and cable television. But despite the outsize role of sports in American life, we know little about how-or whether-sports fandom is related to political attitudes. This paper draws on a representative survey to examine (1) the association between sports fandom and political opinions; and (2) opposition to the “politicization” of sports. Republicans and Democrats are equally likely to follow sports closely. However, sports fandom is positively associated with individualistic attributions for economic success and support for the US military. In addition, conservatives are more likely to resist the intrusion of partisan politics into sports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-403
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 26 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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