August 6, 2008
In the ongoing clash between Brett Favre and Green Bay Packer management, the Wisconsin public clearly favors Packer management. By a 60% to 16% margin Wisconsin residents believe that General Manager Ted Thompson and Coach Mike McCarthy are more concerned than Brett Favre and his supporters about the long term future of the Green Bay Packers. In addition, Brett Favre, who over the last several years was by far the most popular individual in the state of Wisconsin, has seen a sharp decline in his favorability among Wisconsin residents. These are key findings of a survey of Wisconsin residents who expect to vote in the November election. The survey was conducted by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute on August 3 and August 4, 2008.
The support for Thompson and McCarthy ran through every major section of the state. In fact, the strongest support came from the City of Milwaukee where 75% of the residents supported them while only 3% favored Favre. In the Green Bay area, Thompson and McCarthy enjoyed 71% support while Favre and his supporters were at only 15%.
The other result, which was almost as stunning, was that only 47% of the people in Wisconsin had a favorable view of Brett Favre, while 34% had an unfavorable view. This is a major change from survey results within the last several years. Last December, 73% of the people in Wisconsin had a favorable view of Favre and only 7% had an unfavorable view. This was very similar to a poll taken in September 2004 when 75% of Wisconsin residents viewed Favre favorably while only 9% viewed him unfavorably.
Clearly Brett Favre’s popularity in Wisconsin has taken an enormous hit over the last several weeks. One potential reason is that, unlike other professional franchises, the Green Bay Packers is a nonprofit corporation owned by tens of thousands of residents throughout the state who obviously believe that the team is more important than the individual. Whatever the reason, it is clear that Wisconsin residents will back their team and its management over any individual at any time.