WASHINGTON (AP) -Only about four in 10 baseball fans are rooting for Barry Bonds to break the career home run record and most think he knowingly took steroids, according to a poll showing stark racial divisions in how the San Francisco Giants' slugger is viewed.
Still, most fans think Bonds should end up in the Hall of Fame. He has 10 homers this season and 744 lifetime - 11 shy of Hank Aaron's record, one of the most revered in sports.
In the poll by ABC News and ESPN, 37 percent said they are rooting for Bonds to break Aaron's record, while 52 percent said they hope he falls short and 11 percent had no opinion. Twenty-eight percent of whites and 75 percent of blacks said they were hoping Bonds succeeds.
Nearly three quarters said they think Bonds knowingly took the performance-enhancing drugs, which he has long denied. Just more than a third of blacks - and three-fourths of whites - shared that view.
Of those who think he used steroids, two-thirds said that makes him a cheater - even though major league baseball was not testing for the drugs at the time. There was no racial breakdown for that question.
Nearly six in 10 said Bonds should be elected to the Hall of Fame, including majorities of both races. About as many said they believe he has been treated fairly, including a third of blacks and six in 10 whites.
Of those who think his treatment has been unfair, more blacks and whites say it is because of his alleged steroid use than because of his race.
The ABC-ESPN poll involved telephone interviews with 799 adult baseball fans from March 29 to April 22. Its margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Those surveyed included 203 blacks, for whom the margin of sampling error was 7 percentage points.
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