The University of Florida’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow won’t be on the field today, but more people may be watching him than on any previous game day.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45 percent of Americans who plan to watch Super Bowl XLIV agree with CBS’ decision to run a pro-life advertisement featuring Tebow during today’s game.
Thirty percent (30 percent) disagree with the decision to run the ad prepared by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family. Another 25 percent are not sure.
Fifty-one percent (51 percent) of men who plan to watch the game agree with the decision to broadcast the ad. Women are more closely divided: 40 percent agree, but 34 percent disagree.
Super Bowl viewers 30 to 49 are much more supportive of CBS than those in any other age group.
Fifty-seven percent (57 percent) of those who watch professional football more than once a week support CBS’ decision to run the Tebow ad.
Fifty-four percent (54 percent) of Indianapolis Colts fans agree with the network’s decision, compared to 41 percent of New Orleans Saints fans.
The ad reportedly features Tebow and his mother, who talks about the difficulty she had when she was pregnant with Tim and how a doctor advised her to consider an abortion. The pro-life message then notes that the child she chose not to abort went on to win the Heisman in 2007 and lead his team at Florida to two national championships.
Some liberal activists and pro-choice groups including Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women have strongly protested CBS’ decision to run the anti-abortion advertisement. At least one activist has threatened the network with legal action.
The controversy has certainly generated attention for the ad. Forty-nine percent (49 percent) of Super Bowl watchers say they have followed news stories about the ad at least somewhat closely. But 50 percent say they haven’t followed the news about it closely, if at all.
Generally speaking, 35 percent of those who plan to watch today find the commercials more interesting that the Super Bowl game itself. But 57 percent say the game is more interesting.
Forty-nine percent (49 percent) of those who plan to watch today’s game expect the Colts to win their second Super Bowl title in four years. Thirty-eight percent (38 percent) pick the Saints to win their first-ever Super Bowl championship. But most game watchers would rather see the Saints come out on top.
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