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Axios|SurveyMonkey poll: Olympics

Axios|SurveyMonkey poll: Olympics

Six in 10 adults in the U.S. (61%) plan to watch this year’s Olympics (61%), according to a new poll from Axios and SurveyMonkey, with 70% planning to watch on TV, 28% planning to watch via a streaming provider, 19% planning to watch on their smartphone, and 24% planning to watch recorded clips online.

Most people who plan to watch (69%) say they would still watch an Olympic event even if they know the outcome already. Half of the country (50%) is about as enthusiastic for this year's Olympics in Tokyo as they were for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro; 33% say they are less enthusiastic and 13% say they are more enthusiastic this year.

Almost half of Americans cannot name a USA athlete competing in the Olympics this year (44%). 65% of Black Americans can name at least one athlete competing in the Olympics this year compared to 51% of White Americans, 49% of Hispanics, and 50% of other Americans. When asked to write in the athlete they are most excited to see, Simone Biles wins by a mile.

The American public is split on whether athletes should use the heightened profile of the Olympics to advocate for political or social justice issues: 47% approve and 49% disapprove.

  • 72% of Black Americans, 59% of Hispanics, 49% of Americans of another race, and 40% of whites approve of athletes using their public platform to advocate for political or social issues
  • 50% of women vs. 44% of men approve
  • 64% of 18-34 year-olds, 43% of 35-64 year-olds, and 35% of those 65+ approve
  • 20% of Republicans, 52% of independents, and 77% of Democrats approve

By a relatively slim margin (52% to 44%), most Americans disapprove of the decision to disqualify Sha’carri Richardson from participating in this year’s Olympic Games. 

  • Republicans are the only group to approve of the decision to suspend Richardson (58% approve, 42% disapprove; Democrats overwhelmingly disapprove (34% approve, 65% disapprove)
  • By race: 54% of whites, 54% of Blacks, 47% of Hispanics, and 40% of Americans of another race disapprove of the decision to disqualify Richardson

Read more about our polling methodology here.