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Zorn and Gill on the Politics of the Designated Hitter

Abstract: 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 the DH rule, 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.

Zorn, Christopher, and Jeff Gill (2007), “The Etiology of Public Support for the Designated Hitter Rule.” Quarterly Journal of Political Science 2:189-203. Available here.

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