Hotel supporters often claim opposition is “tiny” or “a small minority.” That is cast into serious doubt by a poll running in the electronic edition of the Frederick News-Post. As of 9am Sunday Apr 2 the polling was 51.1% Yes to ‘Should Gov. Larry Hogan veto a line in the state capital budget for Frederick hotel funding?’
No to a veto was 43.9%, leaving 5% undecided. The poll has been running since March 29.
This is of course different from an opinion poll which asks a randomized sample of people from a telephone directory, and gets people with little or no interest in the hotel issue.
The Frederick News-Post style poll is of voters who take the initiative to vote. It gets the opinion of interested voters, many with strong views on the subject.
It guards against the one person voting repetitively by keeping a record of IP addresses of devices used to vote, and rejecting additional attempts at voting. The same person can however vote from their PC, their cell phone, and their tablet.
The hotel issue can be framed many different ways.
The FNP wording is a little odd in asking if the Governor should “veto a line” in the budget. In fact he needs to veto about 15 lines, not a line. But the newspaper is awkwardly referencing the Governor’s power to exercise a so-called ‘line item veto’ under which he can selectively veto lines covering a single item in the budget.
It would have been clearer with the simpler question: Should Gov. Larry Hogan veto the general assembly’s proposed budget grant for the downtown hotel in Frederick? But readers could see what they were getting at so the result is clear enough. On balance people don’t like state funding for this downtown hotel, although the minority favoring it is still quite large at 44%. But it is a minority.