Columbus — Most Ohioans have forgiven LeBron James for leaving Cleveland four years ago, and most also are pleased he’s returning for another stint with the Cavaliers.
That’s according to a survey of 1,500-plus Ohioans by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which included a few sports questions in its recent political poll.
A total of 62 percent of respondents said they had forgiven James for leaving for Miami, and 63 percent supported Cleveland’s decision to bring him back.
A little more than half of those polled also had a favorable opinion of James, though only 37 percent consider themselves Cavaliers fans.
“‘Come back, LeBron. All is forgiven.’ That’s the message from six out of 10 Ohioans on the return of LeBron James,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, said in a released statement. “Ohioans are positive on the return of LeBron James to Cleveland. A narrow plurality thinks he is worth the tens of millions he is being paid. In the only major gender gap regarding James, men say 51-27 percent that he is worth the big bucks, while women say 46-31 percent that the Cavs paid too much.”
Connecticut-based Quinnipiac regularly gauges Ohioans’ opinions on political candidates and issues. But during its most recent round of polling late last month, the institute also questioned adults on their view of Ohio sports teams.
A total of 42 percent of those questioned said the Cleveland Indians were their favorite major league baseball team, versus 34 percent who said the Cincinnati Reds. Another 4 percent sided with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“The Indians are Ohio’s favorite major league baseball team even without winning a World Series in more than half a century,” Brown said. “The Reds have been more successful historically, but have fewer fans. None of the out-of-state teams has more than a handful of support.”
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at email@example.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.