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Poll: Snow gates and Walmart win support

by Greg Belfrage

Nielsen Brothers Polling surveyed about 540 likely voters on the Sioux Falls ballot issues. I'm offering the full poll language and results for you below. I'll post my analysis in another blog entry.

Press Release: Nielson Brothers Polling Survey Finds Sioux Falls Voters Support Snow Gates, Rezoning on South Minnesota Avenue

NBP Survey Finds Sioux Falls Voters Support Snow Gates, Rezoning on South Minnesota Avenue

In a recent survey, Nielson Brothers Polling (NBP) finds popular support among Sioux Falls voters both for requiring snow gates on city plows and for the rezoning plans in south Sioux Falls to allow construction of a Walmart. The proposal to build a new outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park, however, appears unpopular, as respondents favor an indoor pool.

From March 18 – 20, 2014, NBP surveyed likely Sioux Falls voters* on issues and candidates on the April 8 municipal election ballot. When asked about Initiated Measure One, which requires the city to use snow gates on plows for non-snow emergency routes, 65 percent of respondents** say they will vote for the requirement, 24 percent say they will vote against it, and 11 percent are undecided.

When asked about Referred Law Four, which would rezone 39 acres of land at 85th Street and South Minnesota Avenue, allowing for construction of a Walmart and other new businesses, 60 percent of respondents claim they will vote for it, 29 percent will vote against it, with 11 percent undecided.

When asked about replacing the outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park with another outdoor pool, only 28 percent of respondents say they will vote for it, while 55 percent will vote against it, and 17 percent remain undecided. A defeat of the outdoor pool proposal would lead to a new indoor pool at the same location. NBP asked a follow-up question on whether respondents would prefer an outdoor or indoor pool at that site. 55 percent of respondents would choose an indoor pool (matching the numbers of those opposing an outdoor pool), while 31 percent said outdoor pool (close to the 28 percent planning to vote for the outdoor pool), and 15 percent remain undecided. Among the respondents initially saying they would vote for an outdoor pool, 19 percent say that they would actually prefer an indoor pool, suggesting they may be unclear about the choices.

“Sioux Falls voters appear in favor of allowing Walmart to build on the city’s south side, and for requiring snow gates on city plows,” says Paul Nielson, president of Nielson Brothers Polling. “However, the use of ‘super precincts’ combined with the usual low voter participation in municipal elections means that the ability of candidates and causes to get voters to the polls may have a major impact on final results.”

Questions, Responses, and Margins of Error (MOE)

-Initiated measure one requires that the city use snow gates when removing snow from non-snow emergency city streets. These gates may reduce the amount of snow plowed into driveways….

547 responses; 4.19% MOE, Answers:

Vote for:        65

Vote against:        24

Unsure:        11

-Initiated measure two directs the city to replace the outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park with another outdoor pool that is not more than 20 percent larger with a spending cap of seven point five million dollars.

542 responses; 4.21% MOE, Answers:

Vote for:        28

Vote against:        55

Unsure:        17

-How would you choose between building a new outdoor pool or a new indoor pool at Spellerberg Park?

540 responses; 4.22% MOE, Answers:

Outdoor:        31

Indoor:                55

Unsure:        15

-Referred law four would rezone 39 acres of land on the southwest corner of East 85th Street and South Minnesota Avenue to allow a Walmart on the southern portion and other businesses on the northern portion.

538 responses; 4.23% MOE, Answers:

Vote for:        60

Vote against:        29

Undecided:        11

NBP conducted this citywide public survey of likely voters from March 18 – 20, 2014. Findings from the same survey on municipal races, including mayor and city council, will be released on Tuesday, March 25th. Interested parties may contact NBP with regard to questions and answers on surveys. For more information contact nbpolling@gmail.com, or call 605 496-0911.

*NBP called likely municipal voters, which included voters who had voted in one of the last three municipal elections and more recent registrants.

**Weighted percentages, rounded up

Greg Belfrage (@belfrageshow) is heard 6am-9am on KELO 1320 AM and 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at greg.belfrage@mwcradio.com.