Poll: Nats shut out O’s in region hearts, ‘Skins still king

Nats park is the cradle of regional sports love. (AP)

WASHINGTON – The Orioles may have been Washington’s home team for three decades, but a new poll indicates the Nats have stolen Charm City’s date to the dance.

Almost two-thirds of the region says they are Nationals fans while 20 percent cheer for the O’s, according to a new WTOP Beltway Poll. Sixty-six percent of people in D.C., suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia insist they haven’t switched their sports loyalties.

Football is still king, however, with 55 percent hailing RGIII and the Redskins over any other sport. The Nationals are most popular among 43 percent, ahead of the Capitals’ 27 percent.

Yet amid the post-season frenzy as both MLB teams vie for a league championship, those polled in Maryland have the most love for the Orioles, with 27 percent support versus 49 percent for the Nats. The Birds have a following among only 15 percent in Virginia, and 4 percent in the District.

Washington residents lead the pack with 78 percent support for the Nationals, in front of Virginia’s 68 percent.

But winning teams aren’t enough to alter the region’s pedigree. The poll found residents still prefer C-SPAN over ESPN.

Three out of five say they follow politics over sports. Most of these live in the District, where 45 percent say they prefer politics. Maryland leads the pack for athlete approval with 36 percent preferring sports, ahead of Virginia’s 33 percent.

The poll was conducted by Heart+Mind Strategies and has a margin of error of 4 percent. See the full results in the document below.

Editor’s Note: The D.C. metro phone survey was conducted by Heart+Mind Strategies among 550 adults age 18 and over, between Sept. 13 and Sept. 20, 2012. This included representative samples of 200 people in Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford) 250 in Maryland (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s) and 100 in D.C.

WTOP Beltway Poll – Nationals vs. Orioles

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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