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Public Divided Over Barry Bonds

San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds watches the Giants play the Houston Astros in the fourth inning of their second baseball game of a double-header in San Francisco, Thursday, April 13, 2006.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
As the 2007 Major League Baseball season begins, San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds is within striking distance of one of the most famous records in sports, the all-time career home run record: Bonds has 734 blasts; the mark, held by Hank Aaron, is 755.

The public is divided on whether they are rooting for Bonds to break the record.

While 35 percent say they are pulling for Bonds, 30 percent would rather see him fall short. Nineteen percent volunteer that they do not care either way.

Are you rooting for Bonds to break the home run record?

All
Yes
35 percent
No
30 percent
Don't care
19 percent
Don't know/no answer
16 percent

Age 18-44
Yes
43 percent
No
30 percent
Don't care
13 percent
Don't know/no answer
14 percent

Age 45 and older
Yes
27 percent
No
30 percent
Don't care
25 percent
Don't know/no answer
18 percent

There are large differences on this between younger and older Americans. Those 18 to 44 years old are rooting for Bonds. Those over age 45 are slightly against him, and also more likely not to care. Whites are marginally opposed to seeing Bonds succeed but blacks are rooting for him. Younger men under 45 - traditionally a group that includes many sports fans - are also evenly divided. Overall, men and women are rooting for Bonds about equally - about one-third of each are - though women are more likely to not have a preference. Americans in each region of the country are divided, though those in the West, where Bonds plays, are slightly more likely to back his chase. Democrats are somewhat more likely to be rooting for Bonds than are Republicans.

In the last few years, many baseball players - including Bonds - have been dogged by allegations of steroid use. That may make the possibility of this new record less popular than the last attempt. In March 1974 - when Hank Aaron was on the verge of eclipsing then-record holder Babe Ruth's career mark - a Harris survey found that 77 percent of self-described sports fans were rooting for Aaron to succeed.



For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys, click here.


This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1362 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone March 7-11, 2007. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.