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September 23, 2014

HOT BLAST: Republicans, Democrats and soccer fans

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Posted: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 12:41 pm | Updated: 1:00 pm, Tue Jul 1, 2014.

As a reformed and recovering sportswriter, I've heard for 30 years that soccer is about to take off as America's new favorite sport. That's not today's topic.

(Suffice it to say, however, that soccer has made tremendous strides in gaining Americans' attention. But catch up with our version of football, for instance? Nah.)

That said, it turns out that Americans' interest in soccer isn't divided into groups we'd consider "liberal" and "conservative," which often is the case. Soccer, some of its critics say, it is a sport popular among liberals, the well-to-do and immigrants. Middle-class Americans not raised on the sport can leave it.

According to new research data from Pew, that's not necessarily the case. Republicans and Democrats, or conservatives and liberals, don't differ much in their soccer interest. The real difference comes in age groups, which is understandable and, in terms of political demographics, tied closely to the aforementioned parties.

The bottom line: Interest in soccer will continue to grow in the United States in the coming years. On that, the data is clear.

-- Phillip Tutor

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