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Volume 24 No. 156
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Harris Poll: LeBron James Jumps Michael Jordan As Favorite Sports Star In U.S.

Cavaliers F LeBron James is now the favorite sports star among Americans for the first time in his career, according to results of an annual Harris Poll. The survey, conducted online among 2,241 U.S. adults from June 11-16 -- during the NBA Finals and prior to James' decision to re-sign with the Cavs -- shows James jumped past Basketball HOFer Michael Jordan for the top spot. Jordan fell to No. 2 this year. James ranked No. 2 last year after falling out of the top 10 in ’11, the year following "The Decision" and his signing with the Heat. Yankees SS Derek Jeter moved up three spots to No. 3 during his farewell season. Broncos QB Peyton Manning held his spot at No. 4, while Lakers G Kobe Bryant and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. both moved up to tie for fifth place. Tiger Woods, who held the No.1 spot from ’06-10, comes in at No. 8 this year. Tim Tebow and Phil Mickelson dropped out of the top 10. Different demos ranked different athletes as their favorite. Men, Hispanics, millennials (18-36), baby boomers (49-67), Midwesterners, Southerners and political independents all favored James, while women, GenXers (37-48), West Coast residents and Democrats preferred Jordan. Caucasians, matures (68+), East Coast residents and Republicans preferred Jeter. Serena Williams for the fifth year in a row was voted the favorite female athlete. The rest of the top five --  Danica Patrick, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Mia Hamm -- remained the same as in '13 (Harris Poll).

1 Cavaliers F LeBron James 1 Tennis player Serena Williams
2 Basketball HOFer Michael Jordan 2 NASCAR driver Danica Patrick
3 Yankees SS Derek Jeter 3 Tennis player Venus Williams
4 Broncos QB Peyton Manning 4 Tennis player Maria Sharapova
T-5 Lakers G Kobe Bryant 5 Retired soccer player Mia Hamm
T-5 NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. T-6 Tennis HOFer Billie Jean King
7 Patriots QB Tom Brady T-6 U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn
8 Golfer Tiger Woods T-8 U.S. soccer F Alex Morgan
9 Saints QB Drew Brees T-8 Tennis HOFer Chris Evert
10 Packers QB Aaron Rodgers 10 Volleyball player Misty May-Treanor