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KTNV/RASMUSSEN POLL: Voters split on stadium, support gun background checks, legal marijuana

Posted at 9:06 AM, Oct 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-26 21:21:49-04

Nevada voters narrowly oppose state lawmakers voting to raise $1.1 billion in hotel room taxes to finance an expansion to the Las Vegas Convention Center and fund construction of a stadium designed to attract the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, according to a new KTNV-TV 13 Action News/Rasmussen Reports poll.

Voters said they opposed raising room taxes to pay for the stadium and convention center by a narrow 48 to 43 percent margin, with ten percent of voters unsure. The poll of 826 likely voters was conducted between October 20 and 22 and has a 3.5 percent margin of error.

A majority of poll respondents said they supported a ballot questions requiring mandatory background checks on almost all firearm purchases or transfers and more narrowly supported a ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana.

The results largely echo earlier polling done by Rasmussen on the stadium issue — 52 percent of voters polled in September said they opposed the idea, including 50 percent of voters in Clark County.

The new KTNV-TV 13 Action News/Rasmussen Reports poll showed Clark County voters in particular support the stadium and convention center expansion by a 50 to 42 percent margin. 

Voters were specifically asked the following question:

“The Nevada legislature has approved an increase in Las Vegas hotel room taxes to raise $1.1 billion to help pay for a new stadium for the Oakland Raiders and to expand the city's convention center. Do you favor or oppose the legislature's decision?”

Nevada lawmakers approved legislation earlier this month designed to raise $750 million in hotel room taxes for stadium construction and a $400 million expansion to the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The proposal was supported by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Republican and Democratic legislative leaders and a variety of high-profile businesses and labor unions, many of whom said the hotel room tax increase would fall primarily on tourists and not Nevadans.

A separate poll conducted by WPA Research in September and paid for a group supporting the stadium found that 62 percent of voters favored the stadium proposal, though the poll question was worded differently.

Poll respondents who said they favored the stadium and convention center expansion were asked if they thought the new level of taxation was too high, too low or just right. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said it was “about right,” with 13 percent saying it was too high and five percent saying it was too low.

Demographic groups supporting and opposing the stadium and convention center expansion fell across unusual demographic lines: women, self-identified conservatives and voters who went to graduate school were more likely to oppose the proposal, while men, black voters and voters in Clark County were more likely to support the measure.

Voters continue to largely support ballot questions requiring universal background checks and legalizing recreational marijuana.

The poll found 59 percent of voters supported Question 1, which would require all firearm sales and transfers to go through a licensed firearm dealer and have the buyer undergo a mandatory background check. Thirty-four percent of voters said they opposed the measure, with seven percent unsure.

NRA Nevadans for Freedom campaign manager Robert Uithoven said in a statement that Nevada leaders like Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s opposition to the ballot question will help convince voters to oppose it.

“We believe that as Nevada voters take to the polls early and through Election Day, they will take time to understand the consequences of Bloomberg’s Question 1 gun-control initiative,” he said in an email.

Yes on 1 Campaign Manager Joe Duffy said the poll reflects others and marks a decent chance for the initiative to pass.

“The enthusiasm we saw at the polls this weekend is reflected in poll after poll that shows Nevadans see through the scare tactics and misinformation by the opposition and support common sense gun safety laws,” he said in a statement.

Question 2, which would legalize recreational use and possession of marijuana and set a regulatory framework in place for sale of the drug was also supported by poll respondents — 53 percent of voters favored the ballot measure while 41 percent opposed it, with six percent not sure.

Joe Brezny, a spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol, said the group was pleased with the poll results but said the group isn’t letting up before Election Day.

“We are taking nothing for granted, however,” he said in a statement. “This is just one poll and we plan to campaign for the next two weeks as if we need to come from behind.”

Jimmy Stracner, a spokesman for Protecting Nevada’s Children, said the group was only formed about a month ago but that the poll results showed momentum on their side.

“The polls clearly show momentum in our favor and we are confident that more Nevadans will join our side of the issue and vote down this initiative,” he said in a statement.

The KTNV-TV 13 Action News/Rasmussen Reports poll was conducted with a 95 percent level of confidence and a mix of 75 percent automated voice polling and 25 percent online responses. A full demographic breakdown of the poll results is available here.

Previous polls:

U.S. Senate Race

Presidential race in Nevada