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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.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest757

    of course you would disagree with the studies… They weren’t in your favor…

    The people of WIlmington DO NOT want a baseball park.. end of story…

    and after the meeting with council and commissioners.. why would $affo want to ask the county to join in if it was such a GREAT deal… $saffo would be happy to do it alone..

  • Vog46

    Funny thing is when I brought it up – you fell for it again.
    Dispute their findings of FACT
    You see this is what happens when you can’t dispute something
    You poke fun at the poster or in this case you try to disparage the source – but you NEVER disparage the facts because you can’t.
    These guys didn’t study one team they studied many teams with many stadiums in many cities. Manda”lie” and NSS cherry picked the ones they compared our proposed stadium to and they use estimates and guesses.

    Go ahead
    Dispute the facts in the studies. You can’t so you won’t.
    Now its time for Terry to trot out Profesor Santos study on PRO stadiums – like the Twins, Vikings,Cardinals etc.
    Not one mention of minor league ball parks.
    This study was ALL about minor league ball parks.

    Wanna talk cost overruns now?
    How many in the last decade?
    Durham over 26%
    Gwinette Braves over 40%

    c’mon – who will pay?
    I hope contractually it falls to Manda”lie” and Atlanta – otherwise its just another avenue to use to pick our pockets.
    No subsidizing of this stadium.

  • Vog46

    The fact that you can’t spell academia says it all Chuck

    Now you DO know that professors studied actual numbers right?

    You do know that Bradbury STUDIED the Gwinette Braves situation -RIGHT?

    You do know they didn’t deal in estimates – right?

    My my my – the koolaid is readily available here.
    You’re just mad because your economic impact study has been torn to shreds by actual case studies of WHAT REALLY HAPPENED!!!!
    Estimates versus facts and figures Chuck. Funny that you chose guessing.


  • 1981duke

    3 juggernauts,

    What is next,University of Phoenix.
    I will take professional studies any day over Acasdemia.

  • Guestarticulatore

    Sorry, Mr. T, you are the loser. Take a quarter from your monthly value meal and buy yourself a clue. The voters will decide, not you. Ben and Josh didn’t lose anything, if fact they have gained my support for their political future here in this town because of their diligent work against the odds. I and most taxpayers don’t need YOU to tell me what’s affordable.

    Keep on talking though, you may get enough angry taxpayers to turn out in force to tell you what you really need to hear in November… Play Ball (with yourself).

  • ChefnSurf

    In the can, commode, head, latrine, throne, water-closet, whatever ……

    Call it whatever toilet-floats your boat. The important thing here is that you’ve finally posted something that we “can” all agree on!

  • Vog46

    If it’s so cheap let Atlanta pay to build it

  • Vog46

    Now i have top embarrass you here too?

    J.C. Bradbury, an economist and professor at Kennesaw State University who wrote “The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed,” said new stadiums rarely generate the expected returns.

    “I will tell you that there is little evidence that these stadiums have much economic impact,” said Bradbury, who also blogs about the economics of baseball at http://www.sabernomics.com.

    “Economists have studied this for two decades and no credible academic study has found any significant positive benefits. The studies out there that tout benefits are from the same folks who brought us ‘Where’s the beef?’ commercials. It’s PR spin, nothing more.”

    Economic studies back up Bradbury. Economist Arthur Jones, a professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, concluded in his book “Minor League Baseball and Economic Development” that “minor league baseball has the economic impact equivalent of a large pet shop.”

    Dukes Doggie Emporium would have a bigger economic impact
    go ahead
    Build your pet sop


  • 1981duke

    Yes we are behind Baseball and the proposed Stadium for economic development as well as Community Pride.
    The Opposition has other thoughts,agenda and see the challenges we face below,
    From Star News Online,Quote

    Anne Russell · Top Commenter · Works at Journalism Professor
    Chuckie Kuebler, since you and Mandalay et al have targeted me as your enemy, how about we stop the verbal sniping and just duke it out, best one wins? You can meet me on my lot downtown at 103 N 7th St, for a bout of extreme fighting, may the best one win, and we can sell tickets and hot dogs.

    Still 3 months to go,and the energy and passion for both sides,showing.

  • MrT

    Is it possible that some folks haven’t yet heard, IT’S ON THE BALLOT.
    Ben and Josh lost! It’s over, let it go, go find another issue to lose.
    It’s affordable! about the price of one lunch a month from the dollar menu. Nice try boys and girls but the Baseball Movie, is in the can!!

  • Obamy

    They could get me to vote for anything as long as they legalize marijuana. Thats just how I have always voted. For cannadate most likley to legalize marijuana.

  • Robert Green

    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.

  • Guest000000

    And in related news, the sky is blue!

  • Vog46

    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?


  • 1981duke

    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.

  • Guest7969

    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!

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