Support for Olympics Waning: Poll

By Steve Bryant
|  Thursday, Sep 3, 2009  |  Updated 11:31 AM CDT
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A volunteer holds signs as International Olympic Committee members tour the DuSable Museum in Washington Park, Sunday, April 5, 2009 in Chicago.

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The Chicago 2016 committee is not happy about a report claiming that public support for the games is waning.

Yesterday the Trib published a poll stating that only a month before the Olympic bid decision, nearly as many Chicagoans oppose the Olympic bid as support it.  Forty-five percent of city residents don't want the Olympics here, and 47 percent say bring it on.

That's 14 percentage points less than when the Games were first proposed.

The main sticking point came in the form of opposition to using  tax dollars to pay for the games. Nearly 90 percent of residents disapprove of using public money.

Support for the bid has slipped dramatically from the Tribune's February poll, in which the city was united 2-to-1 in support of the bid.

This is the first poll since Daley said the city would sign the standard host contract, taking full financial responsibility for the games. The city had been lobbying for amendments to that contract -- an effort the most recent IOC report criticized.

But an email from the 2016 Bid group  called the poll outdated, saying that the needle had shifted back toward the positive side after a series of meetings with aldermen.

“In the days since this poll was conducted, those questions have been answered and those concerns have been alleviated,” an email from the 2016 bid group said.

For evidence, the group points to a few other surveys that give contrary reports, including the Olympic report itself.

The IOC's own polling, which was included in the Evaluation Commission Report, found 67.3% of Chicagoans "strongly support" or "support" the bid, and 20.5 percent are "neutral" or have "no opinion."  Nationally, 61.1% of Americans "strongly support" or "support" the bid, and 30.0% are "neutral" or have "no opinion."
 

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