What Watching the Masters (and Other Sports) Says About Your Politics

Mike Shannon    Final Bubble Chart

When the world’s top golfers gather in Georgia this week for the Masters, not much will be different from the tournament’s past editions. Patrons won’t be able to carry phones or cameras. Pimento cheese sandwiches will sell for an absurdly low price. The winner will receive the coveted green jacket. And television viewers won’t have to suffer through a single political ad, including Joe Biden’s recent spot attacking Donald Trump’s golf game.

In this regard, the Masters broadcast is truly “a tradition unlike any other” among major sporting events. Commercials are limited to just four minutes each hour split among a handful of corporate sponsors, effectively making the broadcast a politics-free sanctuary. Golf fans of all partisan stripes can agree this is the equivalent of a hole in one.

We’ve been tracking the politics of sports for 20 years by analyzing Nielsen Scarborough data, which includes hundreds of thousands of annual in-depth interviews with American adults. As our bubble chart shows, the Masters’ political ad blackout is a double bogey for GOP campaigns, robbing them of a prime opportunity to reach their high turnout Republican base.

This article originally appeared on Campaign & Elections -- read the full piece here.