Apr 6, 2022 - Sports

Axios-Ipsos poll: Partisan politics infiltrates baseball

View of MLB, by party
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Coming out of the MLB lockout, Republicans are more likely to side with the owners, while Democrats are more likely to support rule changes, according to a new Axios-Ipsos survey.

By the numbers: A majority of Americans surveyed (56%) describe themselves as MLB fans, but their opinions about the state of the league entering the 2022 season differ by political party.

  • The lockout: Democrats are more likely to blame the owners (21%) than Republicans (14%), and nearly twice as many Democrats (16%) as Republicans (9%) think the owners got a better deal.
  • Rule changes: More Democrats (57%) than Republicans (45%) support expanding the playoffs, and more Democrats (54%) than Republicans (41%) support the universal DH.
  • Minimum salary: Democrats are far more likely (49%) than Republicans (29%) to support the minimum salary increase from $570,500 to $700,000.

State of play: The pandemic is waning, but not over, and a majority of Americans (55%) support proof of vaccination or a negative test to attend games. However, as with the numbers above, there's a partisan divide.

  • 77% of Democrats, but just 27% of Republicans, support the fan requirements outlined above.
  • 80% of Democrats, but just 33% of Republicans, support a player vaccine mandate.

The big picture: Politics aside, the lockout's will-they, won't-they drama had at least one positive effect: Fans are pumped for baseball — 67% of "big fans" said they're more excited for this season compared to last season.

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