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POLL: Tigers are Michigan's Favorite Team – What's Yours, White Lake?

A recent survey of Michigan voters indicates the Tigers are the most popular professional sports team, but not among Democrats.

It's time to vote, White Lake.

No, not in the presidential primary — we want to know, which professional sports team in Detroit is your favorite?

A recent survey (PDF) of 560 Michigan voters questioned by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, NC, between Feb. 10-12 indicates that the Tigers Major League Baseball team are the current favorite of all four major professional sports franchises in Metro Detroit. 

The Tigers edged the National Football League Lions, 29 percent to 27 percent, despite being the least favorite among black respondents. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percent.

Meanwhile, Republicans who were questioned preferred the Tigers (36 percent) over the Lions (27 percent), while Democrats pick the Lions over the Tigers, 32 percent to 24 percent.

Meanwhile, only five percent of black voters picked the Tigers as their favorite team, while 33 percent of white voters chose the Tigers.

Overall, the Red Wings National Hockey League team finished with 20 percent, while the cellar-dweller Pistons National Basketball Association team finished with six percent.

Among white voters, the Lions finished with 24 percent, the Red Wings with 22 percent and the Pistons with three percent. Among black voters, the Lions were tops at 54 percent, followed by the Pistons at 23 percent, and the Red Wings with eight percent.

The Red Wings have reached the playoffs for 20 consecutive seasons, while the Tigers and Lions both reached the playoffs in their respective leagues last season. 

Conservatives chose Sparty, liberals like Michigan

Perhaps Republican presidential candidates should consider wearing green on Super Tuesday. According to the same poll, "very conservative" voters chose Michigan State University athletics over the University of Michigan as their favorite in the state by a 37-to-30 count.

Overall, 37 percent of voters claim to be fans of the University of Michigan and 31 percent are Sparty supporters. Thirty-two percent don't care either way.

Of those voters, 55 percent who identified themselves as "very liberal" fans chose the Wolverines while 26 percent voted for the Spartans. White voters are closely split with 34 percent going for Michigan and 32 percent for State, but the Maize and Blue boasts a 53-22 advantage among black voters over MSU.

Fans of both schools are pretty happy with their football and basketball coaches. MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo boasts a strong 78 percent approval rating among Sparty fans, while football coach Mark Dantonio isn't far behind at 68 percent. 

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke got a 64 percent approval rating from Wolverines fans obviously happy over last season's Sugar Bowl win, while basketball coach John Beilein is at 39 percent.

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