Editor’s Note: Ahead of local elections, The Paper. commissioned the first public poll (793 likely voters) to determine what voters think about candidates for mayor and school board positions, as well as public opinion on the proposed stadium bonds, vaccine mandates for APS and who voters think is most responsible for lagging APD reform. The results, like all of our articles, will be free to the public this week. Supporters of The Paper. get results early. Become a supporter today.
If fans of the New Mexico United want a Downtown stadium, they’d better get busy convincing their neighbors. A proposal to bond $50 million in taxpayer dollars for a new home for the team and other community uses is headed for defeat, according to a poll by The Paper., the first public poll so far released.
The survey of 793 likely Albuquerque voters, conducted September 23 through 24 by The Paper. and Public Policy Polling, is the latest flashpoint in the team’s efforts to secure public funding for the estimated $75 million facility.
Trouble for United: By a wide margin, likely voters oppose public funding to build a new professional soccer stadium. A full 59 percent of likely voters say the city should not issue bonds for a new stadium, compared with 23 percent who say yes. Just 17 percent report being unsure.
While our poll was in the field, the United and the city announced a binding agreement that would inject private funding into the construction of the stadium and guarantees gross receipts revenue for the city.
By the numbers…
Young voters don’t like the proposal in nearly the same percentage as older voters. Just 25 percent of voters aged 18 to 45 support the stadium proposal, compared to 26 percent of voters aged 46 to 65 who are in favor. Prevailing sentiment had been that young voters, who make up a large percentage of the team’s fan base, would carry the proposal over the line.
Democrats are split, but Republicans really don’t like the idea. Three-quarters of Republicans surveyed (76 percent) are against the proposal. Couple that with 47 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of independent voters who said they would vote “no,” and the N.M. United have a serious problem with voters of all political persuasions.
Mayor steps back: Keller became the effort’s cheerleader-in-chief when it was first announced. His voters, however, want him to do other things. Just 30 percent of voters who say they supported Keller in 2017’s mayoral election say they support the stadium (50 percent oppose and 20 percent aren’t sure).
That’s probably why Keller was nowhere to be seen when the campaign and city announced an agreement for the team to add $10 million to the building fund and guarantee a total of $30 million in revenue. The team has launched a large-scale mail and television ad campaign featuring fans and local businesses asking voters to, “Vote yes on the stadium bonds.” Keller is also not featured in the big ad blitz that launched last week.
The big picture: The fledgling and popular USL team needs to make up some serious ground if they’re to secure public funding for a permanent home.
When, Where and How to Vote In City Elections
Absentee Voting: On Oct. 5th, the county clerk will begin mailing absentee ballots to voters who requested them. You can still request an absentee ballot by mail through Oct. 28. Get yours here.
Early Voting: Early voting begins at one location downtown on Oct. 5. Early voting at citywide convenience centers begins October 16. Find information here.
Election Day: Tuesday, November 2nd is the last day to vote.
New Mexico now allows eligible voters to register and vote on the same day. Find out more about same-day registration from the Bernalillo County Clerk.