Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 2 > Issue 2

The Etiology of Public Support for the Designated Hitter Rule

Christopher Zorn, Department of Political Science, University of South Carolina, USA, zorn@sc.edu Jeff Gill, Department of Political Science, University of California – Davis, USA, jgill@ucdavis.edu
Suggested Citation
Christopher Zorn and Jeff Gill (2007), "The Etiology of Public Support for the Designated Hitter Rule", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 2: No. 2, pp 189-203. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00006020

Publication Date: 15 May 2007
© 2007 C. Zorn and J. Gill
Public opinion


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In this article:
The Politics of the Designated Hitter
Ideology, Political Party, and the DH
Other Influences
Data and Operationalization
Analysis and Results
Attitudes Toward Change in the Game


Since its introduction in 1973, major league baseball's designated hitter (DH) rule has been the subject of continuing controversy. Here, we investigate the political and socio–demographic determinants of public opinion toward theDHrule, using data from a nationwide poll conducted during September 1997. Our findings suggest that it is in fact Democrats, not Republicans, who tend to favor the DH. In addition, we find no effect for respondents' proximity to American or National League teams, though older respondents were consistently more likely to oppose the rule.

Taylor took us to Mets games. Only the National League, he said. We don't do DH. In his growing up in an academic family, there was a secular trinity: NBC, the National League, and the Democratic Party. Anything else was reactionary, racist, anti–intellectual."

– Bharati Mukherjee, Jasmine (1989).