ONLY ON 3: Ballpark backers commission phone poll

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Submitted: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 2:12am
Updated: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 12:42pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There is a new poll in the field asking Wilmington voters how they feel about the proposed ballpark. Today, a member of our staff got a phone call poll asking what he thinks about the ballpark.

Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling is conducting the survey commissioned by supporters of of the proposed ballpark, including the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, which is trying to find out what voters think about a plan for a ballpark in the Port City.

An automated phone survey conducted by PPP asks several questions, most focusing on the ballpark and what it would be used for.

The poll starts by asking if the caller will vote for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney for president this fall. Then questions about baseball step to the plate.

Callers are asked if they support a bond referendum on the November ballot to pay for the stadium, and later if the $37 million price tag and multiple uses for the facility would affect how they feel about the referendum. They are also asked if they think there is enough affordable family entertainment in Wilmington.

Capstrat, the PR firm hired to represent the ballpark and its supporters, says the the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce is responsible for the poll. We tried to contact the Chamber by phone. The Chamber responded with an e-mail reading, “The campaign in support of the November bond referendum is coming together. And we are certainly conducting initial research. We do not, at this time, have polling numbers or information to release.”

City leaders told us they did not know about the poll. Capstrat says no public money is being used to conduct it.

Until now, the only scientific polls on the ballpark conducted were two by WWAY, The Big Talker FM and the Civitas Institute. Those polls showed most Wilmington voters like the idea of a ballpark in the city, but are strongly opposed to using tax money to pay for it.


  • Vog46 says:

    Just got ANOTHER call about the ballpark survey from PPP
    They reworded some questions but added some doozies:

    “If you knew the multi use facility would be used for religious gatherings would you be more likely to vote for the referendum or less likely?”

    “If you plan on voting against the multi use bond referendum is it because:
    You are against using taxpayer dollars for this type of facility?
    You dislike baseball
    You dislike the Atlanta Braves?
    Or all of the above?

    There were some other new questions but they were too numerous to remember.
    These guys must be desperate to include religious services in the questions
    Wheres the poll results from last week?
    Too bad to publish?

  • SurfCityTom says:

    a betting person would bet there will be new questions every week through the election.

    And rather than reporting weekly results, they will likely report 1 number which will be a cumulative result of all those weekly polls.

    And here’s a question. As they are changing and revising questions are they recalling the same supporters who responded in a positive manner? You had indicated you were called earlier last week.

    So how scientific is it if they recall the same numbers every time they revise a question? Or are they merely calling those who had previously answered in the negative?

  • 1981duke says:

    We have seen thus before,do you have results of CapStrat poll just done recently?
    Kindly advise.

  • 1981duke says:

    Odd,but I have heard soem people still being called?
    I like many would like to see the results.

  • Scott Pickey says:

    No sir. When we called CapStrat last week to inquire about the poll, they referred us to the Chamber of Commerce. It hasn’t released anything about the poll other than to confirm it is doing one.


    Scott Pickey
    WWAY News Director

  • 1981duke says:

    Ripken wants to build privately funded stadium in NHC with NO tax payer assistance?
    I hear this,where is information?
    The rumor mill is sometimes deadly………

  • Vog46 says:

    There’s a rumor floating around that there’s another team interested in a site thats outside city limits. Supposedly this stadium would be totally paid for.
    MiLB rules prevent the new team from talking until the deal with Mandalanata falls through.

    Now the pro baseball group is in a quandary. If they really want JUST baseball they should pull back and say we support ANY team that comes here.
    But they seem to have an undying love for Atlanta and this particular site.

    I wonder why the poll numbers haven’t been released yet? could it be that the numbers weren’t what they expected?


  • Vog46 says:

    Normally I hang up on pollsters but last night I held on and answered question one about Obama, then came the ballpark questions.
    Things like
    “If you knew the ballpark would create $269M of indirect spending would tend to be more in favor,less in favor or have no opinion”
    “If the multi use facility was to cost $4/month on an average taxpayers bill would you be in favor, no in favor or have no opinion.”
    “Do you believe the city of Wilmington is doing enough to attract jobs to the city”
    Then the follow up:
    “If you knew the multi use facility would create hundreds of jobs would you be more likely to support it?Less Likely or have no opinion?”
    And my favorite:
    “If you knew the multi purpose facility could include a city park would you be more likely to support it? Less Likely or have no opinion?

    Ah polling….it’s such fun

    This is a disingenuous poll with questions designed to give the expected answers.
    C’mon WWAY get off your butts.
    The media polls would ask more direct questions
    Scott? Kevin? Time to step up here


  • 1981duke says:

    Civitas was fine but 300 people are 1/3 of 1% which too tiny.
    Even if 300-0 for stadium,baseball I would say the same thing.
    In my opinion,I would like to see 1,000 minimum polled.

  • 1981duke says:

    And the poll….yes some good questions asked.
    Any you did not understand?

  • SurfCityTom says:

    if the existing group pulled back, it would leave nothing for MrT & Dukie to work on. What would they do with all of the pink tee shirts which support the stadium construction? And that white elephant on the river would continue to dangle around the current owner’s neck and not the property tax payers’.

  • GuestMan. says:

    Sounds like a push poll to me. But, what else would you expect from this group?

  • SurfCityTom says:

    you’re comparing watermelons to grapes on the job issue.

    Watermelon would be those full time, year round jobs with Verizon.

    Grapes would be those part time, 70 day jobs with the Ball Team.

    Let’s see $622 for full time jobs averaging $40K annually.

    Versus $422,000 for part time jobs averaging probably no more than $40 per day.

    That’s a hard one — if you’re a proponent of the ball park and have a vested interest in it.

  • ChefnSurf says:

    …. that even if it was 300 to zero you would say the same thing?

    Good luck to you. You’re going to need it. :-)

  • ChefnSurf says:

    C’mon Dukie, even you have to allow little reality in once in a while, don’t you? :-)

  • ChefnSurf says:

    Looks like the spinmeisters are trying to have a little less linkage with Mandatlanta and the concept of the taxpayers buying them a stadium. Gee, I wonder why? Too bad their own feasibility study was unable to really provide a viable cost-price-performance value to the multi-use concept because now they’re stuck trying to sell it. Uh, oh.

    I’m a little surprised that they created such obviously biased questions and used such pie-in-the-sky numbers. Too much bias and a selling poll (which is what this is) can become counter productive. That’s like a pro Santa poll asking “If Santa is real, would you be naughty or nice?” It gets a lot of people thinking “Hey, maybe there isn’t any Santa” (If your kids still believe in Santa, don’t let them read this). For self-described marketing experts, they sure are making a lot of rookie mistakes.

    The question about the park was interesting. The city’s already talking about a new park next to that pygmy white elephant parking deck they just blew another 3 million on and now they’re going to build another park just up the street by a stadium? Too bad that while all that’s happening, they can’t seem to fulfill possible contractual obligations to finish Olsen Park. Can you say “credibility problem” boys and girls?

    I hear that another poll will be coming up in November. Apparently, in the interest of fairness, all of Wilmington’s citizens will be eligible to participate. This poll will have only one stadium question: Pro or Con taxpayer-funded stadium? No shading or built-in bias (well, maybe they’ll try to shade it, but that’s not gonna help ‘em). Just a straight up or down vote. It’ll be amusing to watch that small group of Wilmington pro stadium insiders complain about the results of this one. I can already hear one in particular whining “But that’s not fair!”


  • Vog46 says:

    “And the poll….yes some good questions asked.
    Any you did not understand?”

    Actually I did quite well.
    did you take the poll?
    Are you paying taxes in this city?

    NO? Oh tooo bad
    Care to answer the questions chuck?
    “If the deal loses money for the city buts makes money for Mandalanta is it still a good deal?”

    If you’re so confident about your “score” here why the 6 figure poll? Why the 6 figure ad campaign?

    “If the city spent and average of $622 per job to attract Verizon why should they spend $422,00 per job for a stadium?”

    C’mon you can do it
    Take a shot Chuck


  • Vog46 says:

    2 New Hanover county commissioners have confirmed that a new deal on a baseball stadium is possible but cannot pursue it until the Mandalay Atlanta deal is voted down in November.
    So far as we know the deal is with the Ripken Baseball group and involves a private funded stadium within NH County but not within city limits. It would involve a parcel on the riverfront but across from down town Wilmington.
    There apparently would be a mall of some kind built with the stadium.

    Where does Port City Baseball stand on this issue?
    Why did this new deal blind side you?
    Privately funded is much better for all involved – where’s your support?
    Will you change your name to Cape Fear Baseball now?

    After getting another phone call last night from PPP with different questions regarding the stadium and the disturbing questions they were asking I have solidified my opposition to this deal as have many others.
    So – if this deal is better shouldn’t you guys be all happy for us now? Wheres the support guys?
    Duke? Terry?
    Why the silence?


  • Vog says:

    Done by the same folks that cherry picked their “posi-poll”
    Who’s paying for this poll?


  • RSimmons says:

    The Chamber of Commerce loves promoting projects that enrich their members at the expense of private property owners.

  • 1981duke says:

    Let us see how it compares with others done,Capstrat is a real solid group.

  • ChefnSurf says:

    Public Policy Polling is. The company’s surveys use Interactive Voice Response (IVR), an automated questionnaire used by other polling firms such as SurveyUSA, the firm Civitas used. I seem to recall you not being too happy with that poll, so what’s going to make this poll more solid?

    Let’s face it, to some extent, the questions asked and the demographic group called can effect the poll. That’s why the Chamber’s first poll was so twisted.

    Put out a one question poll to all Wilmington taxpayers and make that question “Taxpayer funded stadium, yes or no?”, and the answer will come back a resounding NO!

  • connie casteen says:

    I hate to tell you this, but the survey of the ballpark will not be a true survey.
    I just found out about the questions asked on the ballpark and remembered getting the survey two days ago.
    Trouble is, The first question is asking if I will vote for Obama or, Then I put the phone down. I would not listen any longer to the survey.
    If you had ask a different question, I would have listened to the whole survey.
    No Obama,

  • BigWhiskey says:

    can we see the gross results of the civitas poll? seems they only reported the 300 that they sliced and diced down to. Have the cross tabs on the most recent poll be released? Is Deb Butler still crushing Thom Goolsby? I am guessing here, but I would venture that civitas surveyed close to 2,000 and reported the results of 300 likely voters – which is how they stand by it “being scientific.”

  • Scott Pickey says:

    BigWhiskey – here’s a link to the poll – hopefully it’ll answer your questions…


    Scott Pickey
    WWAY News Director

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