Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Bucs

The Buccaneers have the most Republican-leaning NFL fan base in the country

A FiveThirtyEight poll determined the political affiliations of every team’s fans.
Republican Bucs fans outnumber Democrat Bucs fans by about 10 percent points, according to a poll commissioned by FiveThirtyEight. [Associated Press]
Published Feb. 15
Updated Feb. 15

In November 2016, Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans sat on the bench during the national anthem in protest of Donald Trump’s election as president. Two days later, he apologized and said he would go back to standing.

Why was Evans’ protest so short-lived?

The quickest explanation is that those who took offense, including a Republican state senator, were loud and insistent in their calls for the Bucs to discipline, trade or release Evans, whose silent demonstration coincided with the NFL’s “Salute to Service” military appreciation and merchandise marketing campaign.

“It was never my intention (to offend military members) as I have tremendous respect for the men and women who serve our country,” Evans said in a statement. “I have very strong emotions regarding some of the many issues that exist in our society today. I chose to sit as an expression of my frustration towards this year’s election.”

Would the backlash have been as vociferous had Evans been playing in San Francisco, New York or Philadelphia?

Unlikely.

Evans’ protest took place in front of the most Republican-leaning fan base in the country, according to a late 2017 poll of 2,290 NFL fans commissioned by FiveThirtyEight. Of the fans who picked the Bucs as one of their favorite teams, 34.3 percent identified themselves as Republicans and 24.8 percent identified themselves as Democrats, a 9.5 percentage point difference. The average margin across all markets was a 6.3 point lean toward Democrats.

The NFL fan bases in San Francisco and Tampa Bay are polar opposites politically.

The poll also showed a split along racial lines. About 90 percent of the Republican Bucs fans classified themselves as white; 65 percent of the Democrat Bucs fans classified themselves as white.

Tampa Bay’s Republican tilt isn’t a surprise considering that Trump won Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties in the 2016 general election (Hillary Clinton won Hillsborough), but the margin is. The margin here is greater than in Dallas (2.7 points) and Houston (5.0 points) combined.

You can read the full FiveThirtyEight article here and find its data here.

Read more:

Bucs' Donovan Smith talks like he wants to stay

What the Bucs can learn from their 1995 draft

Contact Thomas Bassinger at tbassinger@tampabay.com. Follow @tometrics.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Giants quarterback Eli Manning speaks to the media in East Rutherford, N.J., on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. Coach Pat Shurmur announced Tuesday that Daniel Jones, the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, is replacing the two-time Super Bowl MVP as the starter, beginning Sunday at Tampa Bay. TOM CANAVAN  |  AP
    The veteran says he hasn’t thought about asking the team to waive his no-trade clause.
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) sacks Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) MIKE MCCARN  |  AP
    The outside linebacker recorded three sacks in the the Bucs’ 20-14 win at Carolina.
  3. Linebacker Kevin Minter and the Bucs defense have played well. Can they keep it up? MIKE MCCARN  |  AP
    After two games, the unit has allowed only one touchdown. How do they keep it going?
  4. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco) BRIAN BLANCO  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Why things are looking up for the Bucs, UCF and USF football, and maybe not for the Gators and Rays.
  5. Eli Manning has two Super Bowl titles with the Giants. ADAM HUNGER  |  AP
    His legacy is intact as rookie Daniel Jones will start against Tampa Bay.
  6. The NFC South quarterbacks -- the Panthers' Cam Newton, the Falcons' Matt Ryan and the Saints' Drew Brees are in various states of duress. It could add up to an advantage for the Bucs, but Coach Bruce Arians says pay no attention. Associated Press
    Saints’ Drew Brees, Panthers’ Cam Newton battling injuries, but Tampa Bay coach wants an inward focus
  7. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Caleb Benenoch participates in drills during training camp at the team's practice facility, One Buc Place, in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, July 29, 2016. LOREN ELLIOTT  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Former fifth-round pick reportedly received a lot of interest after being cut by Tampa Bay.
  8. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey and coach Doug Marrone got into heated exchange on the sidelines Sunday during the Jaguars' game against the Texans. The next day, reports surfaced that Ramsey had requested to be traded. STEPHEN B. MORTON  |  Associated Press
    The answer depends on the Bucs’ answers to other questions. Are they Super Bowl contenders? Are they willing to give up on their recent draft picks? How committed are they to Jameis Winston?
  9. The Giants will start Daniel Jones (8) against the Bucs on Sunday. MICHAEL AINSWORTH  |  AP
    New York will start Daniel Jones against a Tampa Bay team that hasn’t fared well against first-year signal callers in recent years.
  10. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston hopes to have his team dressed for success as the season moves forward, but to do so he'll need to generate more offense. Tampa Bay plays host to the Giants on Sunday. BRIAN BLANCO  |  AP
    In 2018, Tampa Bay fielded one of the league’s best passing units. Now it’s struggling.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement