Baseball fans who participated in a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling say they prefer pitchers hitting.
And do so convincingly (55 percent) across multiple demographics [Brett: Head explodes.].
Thirty-three percent of respondents among baseball fans said they preferred the designated hitter, while 12 percent of respondents answered “not sure.”
The poll surveyed 1,471 registered voters from May 7-10, with 80 percent of the interviews coming over the phone and 20 percent via the internet. It also has a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent.
Among the poll’s most interesting findings:
- 58 percent of respondents who voted for Twitter newbie Barack Obama prefer pitchers hitting, while 33 percent of Mitt Romney’s voters prefer designated hitters. Sixty-two percent of Democrats and 53 percent of Republicans who weighed in on the poll preferred having pitchers hit. Independents seemed to be the most open to the designated hitter, as 43 percent of respondents preferred the DH. Further, 60 percent of participants who called themselves “very liberal” sided with pitchers, hitting — as did 54 percent of those who called themselves “very conservative.”
- Hispanics seem to be the most certain of their feelings, one way or the other, as only 1 percent said they were not sure. Forty-three percent preferred using the DH, but a majority (56 percent) said they preferred pitchers hitting.
- Respondents ranging from age 46 to 65 were the biggest supporters of pitchers hitting (59 percent), while 21 percent of participants older than 65 were unsure of their stance. Fifty-six percent of poll takers from age 18 to 29 sided with pitchers hitting.
- Both men (56 percent) and women (54 percent) responding to the poll preferred pitchers hitting. But slightly more men (36 percent) than women (31 percent) were open to a designated hitter. Fifteen percent of women respondents were not sure.
The designated hitter coming to the National League can be as polarizing of a topic as it gets among baseball fans. It has its pros (more offense, one set of rules, no more of this) and cons (forced specialization and uniformity among leagues, no more of this).
And definitely no more of this:
Major League pitchers own an average slash line of .089/.102/.103/.205. National League pitchers aren’t much better are slashing .116/.136/.143/.279.
The average designated hitter is slashing .250/.327/.386/.712.
Not sure if any of that statistical information was on the minds of poll respondents. But it’s there for you. And certainly there for MLB executives if they want a reason to make a change.