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Republicans are fed up with ESPN, according to a new poll

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Posted at 2:49 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 17:51:43-04

After ESPN cut costs by firing over 100 employees last week, a number of people took to social media to try to explain why the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports has taken such a hit in viewership.

Along with the simple fact that many people are ditching cable and satellite television...

...some believe ESPN's increased emphasis on political talk, especially from the left side of the aisle, has caused people to turn the channel.

It's difficult to quantity such a belief, but according to a YouGov poll released this week, Americans who lean conservative do have a far less favorable view of ESPN than they did several years ago, while those who lean left haven't recently changed their minds about the network.

According to the survey, Republicans view ESPN less favorably now than they ever have during the four years of polling cited by YouGov.

Specifically, ESPN's image among conservatives appeared to take a hit after two key events: Caitlyn Jenner's ESPY award in 2015, and former Diamondbacks pitcher/outspoken conservative Curt Schilling's removal from his job as an ESPN baseball analyst last year following a controversial Facebook post about transgender people.

Meanwhile, Democrats' view of the network has dipped slightly but remained fairly steady since 2013.

YouGov poll

"Whether ESPN's programming has become more liberal in recent years or not is beside the point; the figures suggest that enough Republicans believe it has, and this belief has ostensibly contributed to their diminished view of the sports network," YouGov's Paul Hiebert wrote.

Click here for a full explanation of YouGov's ratings system.