Just hours before the Metro Council is scheduled to vote on whether to refer a proposed $4 billion transportation measure to the November ballot, opponents of the measure released partial responses to a poll conducted yesterday by DHM Research of Portland.
The responses were released by political consultant Kevin Looper, whom business interests have hired to run an opposition campaign. The responses did not include the actual questions DHM asked, which makes it difficult to fully understand what voters are thinking, but they suggest tepid support. The Oregonian first reported on the poll.
Here's what Looper released.
First, respondents were given a "neutral presentation of the proposed measure."
This was their response to the measure:
Next, the pollster presented arguments "in favor and opposed in a balanced structure."
This was their response:
“Metro is about to set back the cause of transportation improvement and coalition politics by a decade,” said Looper in a statement. “Metro needs to step back and build the consensus necessary to pass this measure and achieve the underlying transportation goals that have been broadly supported.”
Metro released its own polling on the measure a couple of weeks ago, also showing that voters have concerns about a big money measure aimed at a ballot that's likely to also have tax measures for schools, health care, libraries and parks.
A Metro spokesperson declined to comment on the poll, pointing instead to Metro Deputy Council President Juan Carlos González's comments on Twitter.
"What they won't tell you," González tweeted. "Big biz pouring in $3m into an opposition campaign during a pandemic."
"Let's be clear. The measure we're referring to the ballot for November serves 65% of region's POC. TOGETHER we can rebuild our infrastructure to redefine our future around equity."
Metro is expected to vote on the referral at about 5 pm today.