Who Loves the Designated Hitter Rule?


Useless but fascinating political correlation of the day, via The Duck of Minerva:

[According to researchers Christopher Zorn and Jeff Gill,] baseball fans are far more likely to embrace the designated hitter (DH) if they are Democrats:

Most important, and consistent with our expectations, we find that self-identified Democratic Party members are more likely to support the DH rule than are either independents or Republicans; the odds ratio of 1.90 suggests that, on average, Democrats are 90 percent more likely to support the rule than are independents. This implies (we think) that the values that draw the respondents to the Democrats are linked to those associated with supporting the rule. At the same time, the reverse is not true: Republicans are no more or less likely to support the DH rule than are political independents.

Their explanation for this finding makes intuitive sense.

As Zorn and Gill explain, the DH is arguably the greatest rules change in the history of baseball—and Democrats are more accepting of "socio-political" changes.

More here.

And whaddaya know? Paul Molitor, the only player in baseball's Hall of Fame voted in as a DH (and yeah, yeah, I know he played in the field), gave $307 to liberal interest group America Coming Together in 2004 (sez the FEC).