« Ron Paul's Florida flier, 6-page newsletter blasts GOP "counterfeits," Obama | Main | Early-primary backfire? The Ron Paul Revolution will not be televised in Florida. »

On the eve of the first vote, poll shows growing support for South Florida casinos

A majority of Florida voters appear to be in favor of allowing three resort casinos in Miami, according to a new statewide poll of likely voters released by Associated Industries of Florida, which is working on behalf of Genting Americas. Download FL AIF statewide memo (2)

According to the telephone survey by Public Opinion Strategies conducted last week, Jan. 2-5 and Jan. 7, 50 percent of the respondents said they favor and 39 percent said they opposed three destination resorts and casinos in Broward and Miami Dade counties. The results come just as the Senate Regulated Industries Committee is scheduled to take the first vote on the proposal on Monday.

Public Opinion Strategies is the Republican polling firm best known in Florida for being former Gov. Jeb Bush’s pollster. The poll included 800 likely voters, including 105 cell-phone only voters. An earlier poll by the same company, conducted Nov. 28-Dec. 1, attempted to assess public opinion for the measure in each region of the state. It also tested eight messages in favor of the casino proposal and six messages against it and asked voters whether voting in favor of the measure would hurt the popularity of  local legislators.

According to December results, which included a 500 person sample in five regions of the state and 100 person over-sample of GOP primary voters, a majority of voters in every region were more inclined to allow the destination resort casinos to be built as a jobs and revenue  boost for the state.

Similar numbers were found in a December poll by the Tarrance Group working for Las Vegas Sands, with 55 percent of Floridians approving and 39 percent opposed.

When voters were pushed with a more descriptive explanation, a larger percentage of voters supported the provision. AIF pollsters asked:

As you may know, there is a proposal to license three resorts in the Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The resorts would pay a ten percent gaming tax, as well as standard sales and hotel bed taxes. The resorts would include hotels, convention centers, restaurants, bars, and entertainment centers, as well as a casino. Having heard more about the proposal to build three destination resorts in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, do you favor or oppose the proposal?

The results: 27%  STRONGLY FAVOR

The Tarrance Group asked 1,000 likely registered voters on Dec. 4-7: Would you favor or oppose the State Legislature allowing the development of a limited number of high quality destination resort casinos?They had the following results with a margin of error of+ 3.1%:

Region                     Interviews          Favor        Oppose         Unsure

Northwest                  N=94                52%              48%              0%

Northeast/JAX           N=110               53%             45%              2%

Central/Orange CO    N=172               53%             45%              2%

Southwest/Bay Area   N=282               57%            41%              2%

Gold Coast/Palm Beach N=99              60%            37%              3%

Southeast/Miami      N=243                62%            36%              2%