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Poll Shows 71 Percent Support Keeping Redskins Name

January 3, 2014

A national poll released Jan. 2 showed that 71 percent of those surveyed thought the Washington Redskins should not change their nickname.

The same poll also placed Washington's Robert Griffin III among the most popular NFL quarterbacks.

Undertaken by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, N.C., the survey involved a series of questions pertaining to pro football, including, "Do you think the Washington Redskins should change their nickname, or not?" As noted, 71 percent of the respondents said the Redskins should not change their nickname, while 18 percent said they should and 11 percent weren't sure.

The firm surveyed 741 registered voters via telephone from Dec. 13-17, and the poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percent.

The Redskins posted the above finding on their website and issued the following statement: "This poll, along with the poll taken among Native Americans by the Annenberg Institute, demonstrates continued, widespread and deep opposition to the Redskins changing our name. The results of this poll are solidly in line with the message we have heard from fans and Native Americans for months -- our name represents a tradition, passion and heritage that honors Native Americans. We respect the point of view of the small number of people who seek a name change, but it is important to recognize very few people agree with the case they are making."

The Oneida Indian Nation has been out front in calling for the team to change its nickname. Spokesman Joel Barkin said the pollsters did not include any background about the issued in the question.

"This flawed poll conveniently leaves out that fact that the R-word is a defined racial slur," Barkin said in a statement, "and it fails to mention that a diverse coalition of Native American organizations, civil rights groups, public health organizations, religious leaders and sports icons have been joined by governors, the D.C. Council, Republican and Democratic Members of Congress and even the President of the United States in saying that now is the time for the mascot to change. Neither the Washington team nor its owner appears to understand that there is no poll or financial transaction that can solve a moral problem."

In the poll, Democrats supported the current name by a 59-31 margin, while Republicans favored it 90-4 and independents by a 65-16 margin.

In terms of ethnicity, support for the current name was lowest among Hispanics, 49-37. Whites favored not changing the name 74-16 and African-Americans by a 64-22 margin.

There was no noticeable difference in support based on the age of the respondent.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio pointed out that, compared with previous polls, opposition to the name is growing. He wrote: "In 1992, 89 percent supported the team's name. An Associated Press poll conducted last April put the number at 79 percent."

Respondents were also asked, "Given the choices of Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Robert Griffin III, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Tim Tebow and Russell Wilson, who is your favorite NFL quarterback?"

Peyton Manning was first, garnering 16 percent of the vote. Other/someone else was second, with 15 percent, and Griffin tied Brady for third place with 13 percent.

Tebow finished with 7 percent of the vote, even though he didn't play a down during the 2013 NFL season. Among those listed, Brady was named least popular by 18 percent, though 33 percent picked someone else/not sure in response to the question.

Griffin was viewed favorably by 34 percent and unfavorably by 15 percent of respondents, with 51 percent unsure. Peyton Manning's favorable-unfavorable rating was 62-9.

And one other finding Redskins fans will appreciate is 60 percent of those surveyed said they didn't consider the Dallas Cowboys to be America's team, while 23 percent said they did.

In fact, while no one team received significant support for a favorite team, 23 percent of the respondents named the Cowboys as their least favorite team.