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RALEIGH, NC (CIVITAS INSTITUTE) -– A new Civitas Flash Poll shows Wilmington voters would consider replacing the current mayor and three councilmen when they go to the polls next year. And of those voters who express a preference, more are planning to vote against the incumbents than are planning to vote for them.

The poll asked registered voters in Wilmington if there was an election today who they’d vote for, or whether they weren’t sure until they knew who else was on the ballot. Of those indicating a preference, 19 percent were for Mayor Bill Saffo and 27 percent against. In the council races, the results were 11 percent for/18 percent against Kevin O’Grady; 11 percent for/22 percent against Earl Sheridan; 16 percent for/27 percent against Charlie Rivenbark.

The “depends on the ballot” responses were 54 percent for Saffo, 71 percent for Councilman O’Grady, 63 percent for Councilman Sheridan, and 56 percent for Councilman Rivenbark.

Moreover, a majority (56 percent) of voters thought the city council was irresponsible in spending taxpayers’ money; only 32 percent thought they spend the public’s dollars responsibly. That shows slippage from a February Civitas Flash Poll, in which 35 percent thought the council was fiscally responsible, and only 48 percent thought they were irresponsible.

In that February Civitas Flash Poll, 52 percent approved of the job Saffo was doing as mayor; 40 percent approved of the job City Council was doing. “The questions are different, but are similar enough to suggest voters’ attitudes are moving the wrong way, from the incumbents’ point of view,” said Civitas President Francis X. De Luca.

Looking at the newer poll, “Less than one in five voters is committed to any of these four officeholders,” De Luca added. “Though it’s a while until the next election, usually incumbents, especially longtime ones, build up foundations of support. The current mayor and councilmen appear to have alienated some voters at this point in time.”

For more information on Civitas polling, see http://www.nccivitas.org/category/poll/.

Full text of questions from August Flash Poll:

Wilmington will elect a mayor and city Council members in 2013. If there were an election for Wilmington Mayor today, which statement would describe you? One: I would vote FOR Bill Saffo no matter who else is on the ballot. Two: I would vote AGAINST Bill Saffo no matter who else is on the ballot. Three: I’m not sure how I would vote until I know who else is on the ballot.

19% FOR Saffo
27% AGAINST Saffo
54% Depends On Ballot

Now, some City Council seats. If there were an election for Wilmington City Council today, which statement would describe you in regards to Kevin O’Grady?

11% FOR O’Grady
18% AGAINST O’Grady
71% Depends On Ballot

Next, Earl Sheridan.

15% FOR Sheridan
22% AGAINST Sheridan
63% Depends On Ballot

Last, Charlie Rivenbark.

16% FOR Rivenbark
27% AGAINST Rivenbark
56% Depends On Ballot

Is the Wilmington City Council responsible? or irresponsible? when determining how to use taxpayer dollars?

32% Responsible
56% Irresponsible
12% Not Sure

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Bill Saffo is doing as Mayor?

52% Approve
45% Disapproved
3% Not sure

Do you approve or disapprove of the job the Wilmington City Council is doing?

40% Approve
51% Disapprove
9% Not Sure

Is the Wilmington City Council responsible? or irresponsible? when determining how to use taxpayer dollars?

35% Responsible
48% Irresponsible
17% Not Sure

About the Poll: 300 registered voters in the City of Wilmington were interviewed on Aug. 1 and 2. This poll was conducted by telephone in the voice of a professional announcer. Respondent households were selected at random, using Random Digit Dialed (RDD) sample provided by Survey Sampling, of Fairfield CT. All respondents heard the questions asked identically. Research methodology, questionnaire design and fieldwork for this survey were completed by SurveyUSA of Clifton, NJ. This statement conforms to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. The margin of error was +/- 5.7 percent.

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46 Comments on "FIRST ON 3 AND THE BIG TALKER FM: Poll shows Wilmington voters not sold on mayor, councilmen"

2015 years 10 months ago

LIES..the report assumes NO INCREASE in visitors…just a change from doing this to doing that…

If its such a wonderful idea..I say you and your group take out a loan and fund it! Looks like you guys might get RICH!

2015 years 10 months ago

The Stadium will be the “engine” that kick-starts the sluggish Wilmington Economy.
The ability for businesses is almost endless and more jobs,more restarants,retailers,hotels,touist attractions,street vendors and fairs will see benefits that 300,000 attendees,maybe more bring our CITY.
We also are advertising to the whole “region” what Wilmington is all about and our capabilities.
The end result–
-more visitors
-more tourists
-more businesses
-enhanced City “image”
-more sales tax revenue
-family fun and affordable time together
-Increased Civic Pride
-Increased visibility for Wilmington”.

So many positives,join us as we make Wilmington “the place to live,play,do busines with”; in Southeastern,North Carolina.

2015 years 10 months ago

I’m glad to be a part of the Fab five and I’m willing to “sacrifice” a baseball stadium to insure my city doesn’t go further into debt. I’m also glad you have an agenda because the more the pro baseball side speaks the more solid the opposition becomes.
Lets see NSS did a flawed economic impact survey
The Chamber did an invite only survey that didn’t ask hard questions
Civitas has conducted 2 polls showing the general population against the stadium funding by taxpayers
Civitas also shows that the general population does NOT consider the Mayor and 3 council members fiscally responsible
The County Commissioners slammed the door on helping the city pay for Billy’s Baseball Boondoggle as the city begged the county for a bigger share of tax revenue AND begged the commissioners to allow voluntary annexation which the county is vehemently against.
Now we find the CFPUA is looking at increasing sewer fees by 149%
Do you feel like going back before the County Commissioners asking for money for the ballpark? Like your group has done 4 time already?
Feel like asking for a county tax increase again?
Go ahead and spend your $150,000 – $50K of which is coming from a guy that owes back taxes on the “stadium land” and who would profit from it’s sale……
The polling indicates the potential for a large scale change in the Mayors office and council and the majority says they don’t spend money wisely.
Go ahead, rent your billboards I’m sure Mandalay will do a “professional” job on the media blitz.
BTW – I heard that Mayor Saffo will be on one of the billboards.
Showing him lying down in orange shorts and a tank top with an owl on it looking seductively at drivers as they come off the CF Memorial bridge with the caption “Baseball is belly belly good for Wilmington”
Is this true? Why, how professional!!! It’s a “Hoot”(ers)
Honestly Chuck – think the votes will approve a tax hike considering what the CFPUA is about to do AND the city is looking at 3cents for street repair already?


2015 years 10 months ago

And in related news, the sky is blue!

Robert Green
2015 years 10 months ago

The baseball park bond referendum will transcend party lines and unite a community against an irresponsible city government. The 2012 election’s overall theme will be all about pocketbook issues , therefore a ballpark bond will not fare well. The city’s priorities and vision are dysfunctional because they have not been responsible stewards of taxpayer money by channeling those dollars to insure the upkeep of basic infrastructure. Council continues to shop around on the taxpayer dime with champagne taste on a flat beer budget. I am sure Mandalay will begin a campaign blitz , with their deep pockets , in the coming months. It will be a minimal investment for them to sucker taxpayers to use their monies to finance a ballpark for multi-millionaires. The government does not create wealth , only additional burdens. The only way government can influence wealth creation is through tax policies and regulations. Regulating store signage in storefronts is a prime example of the “Foolish Sevens” petty pursuits that waste time and aggravate business people.

As for Chuck KUEball , your passion for a 100% public financed ballpark is obvious. May I suggest while you are waiting for your Christmas present in November , you need to consider taking remedial English 101 courses because your spelling and punctuation are atrocious. Maybe you can take Sterling CHEATham along as well. If the ballpark goes through , I imagine Billy Saffo will invite you to his air conditioned suite and allow you to partake in the fancy spread provided by Mandalay. Some games you will not have to fork out money for overpriced concessions.


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