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Gators, Rays and Dolphins are Florida’s favorite sports teams, pollsters say

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The Gators, Rays and Dolphins are the most favored teams among Floridians according to a survey released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling.

The University of Florida Gators were the favorite college team for 29 percent of survey respondents, with their archrival, the Florida State University Seminoles, taking second place with 19 percent support.

The only other teams breaking double digits were the University of Central Florida Golden Knights at 12 percent and the Miami Hurricanes, which 1 in 10 respondents pegged as their favorite team.

The University of South Florida Bulls led the rest of Florida’s NCAA Division I teams with 5 percent support, followed by the Florida International University Panthers and the Florida Atlantic University Owls at 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

Baseball fandom was more evenly split, with Tampa Bay’s ballclub tying with the Atlanta Braves for the top spot at 13 percent. Florida’s first baseball team, the Miami Marlins, was the favorite team for 12 percent of survey respondents, followed by the New York Yankees at 10 percent and the Boston Red Sox at 9 percent. Another 7 percent of Floridians named the Chicago Cubs as their favorite MLB team.

The Dolphins were the apparent victors when it came to the NFL, with 1 in 5 Floridians cheering for the two-time Super Bowl winners, though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers garnered a decent 15 percent support.

The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t get much love from their home state, though. Florida’s newest NFL team fell behind the Green Bay Packers and into a tie with the Dallas Cowboys for fifth place among respondents, with 7 percent support.

Nearly all fan bases seemed to cross political lines, except for the Gators, whose fans showed a definite affinity for 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, supporting him over President Barack Obama by a 10-point margin.

The PPP survey polled 1,012 Floridians, including 464 likely Republican Primary voters and 388 likely Democratic Primary voters. The poll has a 3.1 percent margin of error.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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