The poll also asked the voters’ opinions on other issues of the day, including whether they supported using tax dollars to build a roof at Sun Life Stadium. National Football League leaders have warned that the 25-year-old stadium must be upgraded if South Florida is to continue as a regular Super Bowl venue, and the Dolphins have in the past eyed tourist taxes to pay for improvements.
But just 16 percent of those surveyed said they would support public funding for a new covered roof at Sun Life Stadium, while a whopping 69 percent said they opposed tax dollars for the stadium.
The survey results may reflect lingering resentment over the county’s financing of the new Miami Marlins baseball stadium, Marlins Park, which helped spark the recall of former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez.
“I voted against all those county people because they sold themselves to baseball,” said Anofre Torres, a semi-retired investment advisor from Key Biscayne who opposes public financing for Sun Life Stadium. “I just don’t think that’s what tax money should be doing.”
Harvey Greene, a spokesman for the Dolphins, declined to comment specifically on the poll results, but said “nothing has been proposed” to seek public funding for the stadium.
A plurality of respondents also supported allowing “destination” gambling resorts in Miami-Dade County, the poll found. Some 48 percent of those surveyed said they support destination gambling, while 39 percent oppose it. Large-scale gambling has been a hot-button issue since the Genting Group, a Malaysian casino company, bought the 14-acre Miami Herald property in downtown Miami last year for $236 million.
A survey taken for The Herald just after the Genting deal found similar opinions about large-scale gambling, with 50 percent of those polled in June 2011 supporting gambling resorts, compared to 38 percent against. But another Herald poll taken in January showed that voters at the time were evenly split on the issue — reflecting intensifying public opposition to casinos from some local business leaders.
In last week’s poll, The Herald also asked voters if they approved of tighter restrictions on absentee voting, following the arrest of two “ballot-brokers” in Hialeah before the Aug. 14 primary elections. Those surveyed were evenly split on the issue, with 45 percent of voters in favor of rules requiring voters to have a genuine reason to vote absentee, while 46 percent opposed any changes.
Republicans in the survey supported tighter restrictions on absentee voting by a margin of 56-34, though under the current rules Miami-Dade Republicans tend to vote absentee in greater numbers than other voting blocs. Democrats, on the other hand, opposed stricter absentee rules by a margin of 53-38.
In the presidential race, Obama leads Romney among likely voters in Miami-Dade by a margin of 52 percent to 43 percent, the Herald survey found. But that might not be good news for the president: Four years ago, Obama pummeled GOP challenger John McCain by a 58-42 margin in Miami-Dade, helping Obama overcome McCain’s support in the more conservative areas of north Florida and win the state’s electoral votes.
“Given that Obama only carried the state by three points [in 2008], he can’t afford to underperform” in Miami-Dade, Coker said.