On the eve of a resumption of the TV campaign for the transportation sales tax, a new poll just posted by Channel 2 Action News shows support for the effort slipping.
A Rosetta Stone Communications poll conducted for Channel 2 Action News found only 38 percent of voters in 10 metro counties support the proposed tax, while 49 percent oppose the plan.
Those numbers show a drop in support of the tax from late May when a Rosetta Stone poll showed 42 percent supported the referendum and 45 percent opposed the measure.
The margin of support in Fulton and DeKalb counties isn’t anywhere near what’s needed to offset opposition in largely Republican counties. Check out the crosstabs:
Just for the record, Rosetta Stone Communications is a political service firm that caters primarily to Republican clients.
In response, Sam Williams, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, sent an email to supporters that included this:
“WSB released a poll this afternoon. The results are in stark contrast to the results of our own as will happen many times in the ensuing weeks. We do not know anything about the methodology used by WSB’s pollster but we have every confidence in ours.
“Additionally, our polling has shown a long standing trend of people saying they plan their day around traffic. In fact, 87% of voters say the traffic in metro Atlanta has gotten so bad that something must be done about it.”
That was quickly followed by a longer, more detailed don’t-panic message from Dave Stockert, chairman of the pro-transportation campaign:
I wanted to be the first to alert you that WSB is releasing a poll this afternoon showing the July 31 Transportation Referendum down by 11 points. While this figure is in stark contrast to our internal polling data, we do want to take the time to properly address your concerns.
First off, it is nearly impossible to properly poll in such a low-turnout race. We are expecting less than 400,000 voters to turn out in the July 31st Primary. That is why over the past two months we have made over 200,000 successful voter ID calls so we know who we need to turn out to vote yes. Without having access to this data it is extremely difficult to accurately identity likely voters for a poll.
More importantly, our massive media campaign was just launched last night. Thanks to your generosity over the past sixteen months we were able to book over 3,000 points of network television for the month of July; meaning likely voters are going to view our TV spots an average of 30 times. We have also placed over 1,500 highly-targeted cable television spots. The poll released today does not reflect the impact our persuasion media will have on currently undecided voters.
In addition to the television spots we are dropping over one million pieces of mail highlighting specific projects to our targeted strong yes voters. This along with a huge absentee ballot program will help ensure our current supporters cast their “YES” ballots.
They don’t call these operations campaigns for nothing. We are literally waging an air and ground war over the next month that is the biggest Atlanta has seen in almost a decade. Our messaging along with the heavy media blitz and advanced field operation will all have a major impact on not only turning the polls in our favor, but in leading us to victory.
We will not grow weary in the face of an unfavorable poll. Instead we are reenergized and motivated to work even harder. I ask you in this last month to dig deep and help us see this critical campaign through.
The impact can’t be measured yet by any poll, but here’s a dire thought for T-SPLOST supporters: Given Thursday’s health care decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the GOP presidential campaign of Mitt Romney will be carpet-bombing the nation with the message that what we once thought was a health care mandate is now a health care tax.
That means anti-tax rhetoric is about to soar, and there’s a danger that the July 31 sales tax referendum could get wrapped into it, further dampening support for the measure.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider