Poll finds Chargers losing fan base, support for Citizens Initia - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Poll finds Chargers losing fan base, support for Citizens Initiative

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SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A poll conducted in April shows there is little, if any, chance the voters will approve the Chargers Stadium Initiative, even with a 50 percent vote.

Even among those who are big Chargers fans, 45 percent said they would vote "no."

The main reason is that the voters are concerned about more important issues, such as infrastructure, the economy, jobs, schools, the city budget and expanding the Convention Center at the Waterfront.

"When you actually get down to the ballot measure itself, 'Hey 58 percent are voting no, 57-58 percent are voting no on it and only 30 or so, 35 percent are voting yes,'" said Pollster John Neinstedt of Competitive Edge Research.

Neinstedt said the Chargers fan base has eroded, down to 20 percent.

"This is the lowest I've ever seen it. Usually when we ask the question, 'How big of a Chargers fan are you?' We don't get 20 percent. We get 25-30 percent saying they are big fans," Neinstedt said.

And he said anything is possible, but even an aggressive campaign by the Chargers is not likely to change this dynamic.

"Things can change. It's a  tough poll to see support getting over 50 percent, let alone even approaching the two-thirds mark," Neinstedt said.

The numbers tell the story: 

  • 73 percent of non-fans say the stadium is not important
  • 28 percent of casual fans say the same
  • and only 11 percent of big Chargers fans say a stadium is important

While this poll was done before the primary, there will be more voters in November. One would think that increases the chances for the Chargers, but Neinstedt says no.

"When we do larger polls or polls with the entire electorate, we see similar results and in other words, what we're seeing here doesn't really have a lot of similar numbers. There's not a big change between low turnout situations and the high turn out situation," he said.

As local issues like roads, infrastructure, the economy, education, jobs and the city budget are the top priorities, a stadium issue is at the bottom.

" For big fans, it's not a high priority. Those come into play and show us why the support really isn't there for this measure," Neinstedt said.

Nor do city voters favor a downtown stadium.

"The Chargers stadium actually hurts the Convention Center in a way because people are saying, 'I like a Convention Center, but I don't really want the Chargers stadium that goes along with it,'" Neinstedt added.

There is another caveat here: The poll question may not be precisely what the ballot language will say, but Neinstedt said it's a good approximation.

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