Tiger's Popularity Tanks by Record Amount

Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009 12:59 PM

By Dan Weil

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Tiger Woods’ popularity plummeted 52 percentage points in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, the biggest decline between consecutive readings in the poll’s history.

The golfer’s favorability rating dropped to 33 percent in last week’s poll, following reports of his extramarital affairs. That compares with 85 percent in June 2005, when the most recent previous poll was taken, the paper reports.

When Gallup first measured Woods in 2000, the world's No. 1 golfer registered the highest popularity of anyone in the poll’s history: 88 percent.

The 55-point drop from high to low matches only former President George W. Bush, who sustained the same decrease between 2001 and 2008. Woods' swing was the biggest between consecutive measurements since Gallup began its poll in 1992.

Woods’ unfavorable rating soared to 57 percent last week from just 8 percent in 2005.

"For many years, Woods was the most positively rated person we rated,” Jeffrey Jones, managing editor of the Gallup Poll told USA Today. “Now he ranks worse than a lot of the politicians we measure. The drop is definitely unprecedented."

Women are more upset with Woods than men. His unfavorable rating among women was 61 percent, compared with 53 percent among men.

In terms of education, those with the most are the most disappointed. And in terms of age, those 65 and older are the most disappointed.

Woods’ corporate sponsors aren’t so happy with him either. Consulting firm Accenture has dropped Woods as a spokesman, watch company Tag Heuer says it is weighing its options with him, and Gatorade dropped its Tiger drink.

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