This past weekend, nationally-renown Public Policy Polling (PPP) surveyed a huge sample – 1,347 Wisconsin voters – about the stadium subsidy plan. The results are crystal clear: voters overwhelmingly oppose a stadium subsidy on a bipartisan basis.
Only 29% of voters support using tax money for a stadium subsidy. It is rare to find a proposed policy so disliked by voters of both parties. And lawmakers beware – voters of both parties are less likely to vote for a politician who supports tax money for the stadium subsidy on a 5-1 margin. Whatever the army of Brewers’ lobbyists say this week – they can’t change voter feelings and are asking legislators to ‘walk the plank.’
When asked to weigh whether tax money would be better spent on priorities other than the stadium subsidy (such as public safety, healthcare, and roads) 68% of Republicans and 72% of Democrats believe the other priorities take precedence.
There is also no voter support to ‘stick it to Milwaukee,’ as 64% of statewide voters believe that Milwaukee sales taxes shouldn’t be siphoned away for stadium improvements. Strikingly, this sentiment is greater outside of the Milwaukee media market. Voters know unfair treatment when they see it and can envision their community being next to bear the brunt of a state-ordered sales tax mandate.
This issue imperils incumbent politicians from both parties. The Brewers’ bailout plan creates a ready-made primary issue for both Republicans and Democrats. No one wants to be known as the legislator who sold out to benefit a California billionaire owner who has never delivered a World Series appearance.
Voters do have strong thoughts on who should pay for the stadium upgrades. By an astounding and bipartisan 10-1 margin, voters think owner Mark Attanasio is better placed to pay for the stadium improvements than Wisconsin taxpayers.
Politicians from either party (including absent-negotiator Gov. Evers) who oppose their constituents on this issue should consider the visage of George Petak.
Unlike the ridiculous ‘poll’ summary produced by the MMAC/VISIT Milwaukee last week, which didn’t provide actual survey questions or response data, Milwaukee Works Inc. is proud to release the entire poll for independent analysis and review.
-- Dan Adams, director, Milwaukee Works, Inc.
Wisconsin Poll Results
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