Sunday, January 10, 2010

Support for Music City Center slips to small minority of voters in latest independent poll at WSMV

The latest results of a WSMV poll released on Friday indicates that support for building a new convention center is only expressed by one-quarter of Nashville voters:
The scientific poll found that 26 percent of those polled supported Nashville's plans to build and finance the Music City Center. Fifty percent rejected the idea. Twenty-one percent were undecided. The remainder were unfamiliar with the issue.
An early 2007 poll showed support for a new convention center 10 points higher with opposition basically identical to the latest poll. Given the $400,000 PR spin paid out of Metro funds over the last year, I think that it is remarkable that support for Music City Center remains low and apparently sinking. Imagine how low the support might be if the various lobbyists, ad men, and consultants had not been paid to change public opinion on this high-ticket item in the middle of a recession. So far the list of spin merchants includes McNeeley, Pigott, & Fox (who pocketed the $400,000), Cooley Public Strategies, and Seigenthaler Public Relations.

But the bad news for Music City Center does not end with plummeting public support. A huge majority of voters in the poll, 72%, support the idea of delaying construction in order to hold a referendum on MCC. Even though a referendum would cost a little less than what Metro paid a private PR firm to market MCC, voters believe that having one is important to the municipal process. That seems to me to vindicate Nashville Priorities' calls for a referendum on MCC.

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