Trump's NFL Comments May Resonate With Many Americans, Poll Finds

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The poll was taken by Remington Research Group, which works primarily with Republicans and earned some notoriety as one of the few polling firms to predict a Trump presidential victory.

President Donald Trump is more popular than the NFL, according to a poll conducted after a weekend of peaceful political protests conducted by professional football players, coaches and team owners. 

According to a poll conducted Monday, 46 percent of adults who voted in the last presidential election have a favorable opinion of Trump while just 37 percent have a favorable opinion of the NFL, and only 12 percent have a favorable opinion of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The poll was taken by Remington Research Group, which works primarily with Republicans and earned some notoriety as one of the few polling firms to predict a Trump presidential victory. 

While its NFL poll appears to be the first since hundreds of NFL players protested the National Anthem during a single weekend, the results jive somewhat with previous polls.

Remington's Monday poll, for example, found that 50 percent of Americans are less likely to watch football because of the protests while 30 percent are more likely. A year ago, after quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem, Reuters conducted a poll finding that 61 percent of Americans did not "support the stance Kaepernick is taking."

Remington found that 19 percent of Americans have watched more football this year but that 51 percent have watched less. Of those watching less, a whopping 69 percent say it is because they do not appreciate "players using the NFL as a stage for their political views."

That number is way up from a J.D. Power survey taken prior to the opening game of the 2017 season that found 30 percent of those watching less NFL football are doing so because of the protests involving players kneeling during the National Anthem.

That the numbers have shifted shouldn't be a surprise, though, since Trump ignited the issue anew last week when he used the term "son of a bitch" when talking about an NFL kneeler. The comment sparked a wave of player protests at games on Sunday and Monday.

While NFL television ratings fell last year compared to the year prior, and 2017 began with two weeks in a row of falling ratings, the just-ended third week actually showed growth, though mostly because of strong viewership Monday night when many people likely tuned in to watch the Dallas Cowboys beat the Arizona Cardinals because of media saturation over the protest controversy.

The Remington poll says about 70 percent of Americans consider themselves a "fan of the NFL," but also that 80 percent of Americans want less politics from sporting events (and 7 percent want more).

Asked simply if NFL players should "stand and be respectful during the National Anthem," 64 percent answered "yes," 25 percent said "no" and 11 percent said they were "unsure."

Naturally, there was a massive difference between Democrats and Republicans on some issues — Trump is viewed favorably by 83 percent of the latter and only 14 percent of the former. But also, 33 percent of Democrats have watched more football this year and 33 percent watched less, while among Republicans 12 percent have watched more and 66 percent have watched less.

Such results shouldn't be a surprise, as even among celebrities opinions about standing or kneeling for the National Anthem at least in part break down along party lines

Remington's survey included 1,945 general election voters weighted to match expected turnout demographics for the 2018 general election. Its margin of error is plus or minus 2.3 percent with a 95 percent confidence level.