PPP's newest South Carolina poll finds that the Gamecocks- who have generally dominated Clemson in football and baseball over the last 5 years- also have the Tigers' number on the field of public opinion. 43% of voters in the state say they're South Carolina fans to 32% for Clemson. In an era of increasing political division pulling for the Gamecocks is something South Carolinians agree on across party lines- Democrats (46/28) and Republicans (42/34) both prefer them.
Both Gamecock and Tiger fans are very happy with their current football coaches. Dabo Swinney has a 78/3 approval with Clemson fans, and Steve Spurrier stands at 76/4 with South Carolina fans. To put those numbers into some perspective, last year we found Jimbo Fisher at a 55/9 approval with Florida State fans and Mark Helfrich at a 49/4 one with Oregon fans. Even when compared to other highly successful coaches, Swinney and Spurrier are some of the most well appreciated in the country within their fan bases.
As the Gamecocks and Tigers take the field in baseball this weekend, Chad Holbrook is in better standing with his school's fan base. 53% of South Carolina fans approve of the job Holbrook is doing to only 2% who disapprove. Clemson coach Jack Leggett has 42% of his fans happy with his job performance to 9% who disapprove. Leggett's built up enough goodwill over the years not to have too many fans outright disapprove of him, but he has a pretty low approval for a 20 year coach.
The Carolina Panthers are the leading NFL team in South Carolina with 25% identifying as fans of the team to 12% for the Cowboys, 9% for the Steelers, 8% for the Patriots, 7% for the Falcons, and 5% each for the Broncos, Packers, and Seahawks. Even though they are still first, 25% fan loyalty for the Panthers given their geographical proximity doesn't seem terribly impressive.
Full results here