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June 10, 2016

Poll: Unprecedented approval of Kelly firing, Paterno still has favorable rating

Online sports polls are often extremely flawed. There, I said it.

We still use them and tend to base a city's feelings toward a player, coach or team on the results of such polls, but the emotional nature of fans often skews the results toward one extreme or another. Not to mention the whole small sample size problem.

Political polls, or at least those conducted by legitimate polling firms, are much more accurate in general. They're more interested in using a scientifically accurate process than we in the sports world, usually because the things they're asking about are actually important.

But on Friday, Public Policy Polling released some very interesting numbers from Pennsylvania voters – and a lot of them had to do with, believe it or not, sports. To call some of the results surprising would be an understatement.'s Tom Jensen rounded up the results, so let's take a look:


How happy were Eagles fans to see Chip Kelly go? In short, very.

"72% say they approve of the decision to fire Chip Kelly, compared to only 7% who are unhappy about the change. That's as much support as we've ever seen from a fan base for firing its coach." 

Do fans like the Doug Pederson hire?

"Fans are generally content with the hiring of Doug Pederson – 48% say they support it to 15% who are opposed, and 38% who don't have an opinion one way or another."

Who do they think should be the starting QB? It's likely not who you expect...

"35% say Sam Bradford, 31% Carson Wentz, and 9% Chase Daniel."


Believe it or not, the former Penn State coach still has a positive favorability rating (49 percent, compared to 29 percent who feel negatively). More interesting, however, is how those numbers correlate to the upcoming presidential election.

"Feelings about Paterno are a dividing line in the Presidential election. Among voters who still see him favorably, Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by 14 points at 48/34. Among those who now have a negative opinion of him, Clinton leads Trump by 17 points at 50/33."


Which teams do Pennsylvania support the most? No surprise here...

"Penn State leads college sports loyalties in the state with 34% to 13% for Pitt, 9% for Penn (which people may have confused with Penn State), 7% each for Temple and Villanova, 3% for St. Joseph's, 2% for Duquesne, and 1% for La Salle."

Jay Wright is a god. Actually, that's wrong. Some people may not like god.

"Jay Wright scores the rare feat of having no Villanova fans who disapprove of him – 71% approve and 29% have no opinion – I guess some fans need to see several rings before giving their support."


Somewhat surprisingly, there are more Pirates than Phillies fans (36 percent to 33 percent), but both fanbases like their leadership. 

"Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has a 64/7 approval spread with his fan base, and Phillies skipper Pete Mackanin is at 56/7 with his."


Democrats have more hope for the Sixers than Republicans... 

"Only 25% of Pennsylvanians think there's any hope for the 76ers, to 29% who say there's no hope and 46% who aren't sure one way or another. Democrats (31/25) have hope for the 76ers, while Republicans (18/33) do not which may in some ways be reflective of the two parties' disparate worldview."


And, finally, we need to do something about this last one...

"45% prefer Sheetz, 35% prefer Wawa."


You can read all the results, here.

Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin