Just Say No Casino Campaign: Casino Vote Too Close to Call

By Rick Smith, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The anti-casino campaign Just Say No Casino isn't waiting for the results of the March 5 vote on casino gaming in Linn County to get a feel for what the election outcome is going to be.

The campaign on Tuesday said its own polling firm has conducted a phone survey of 400 likely Linn County voters in recent days, the results of which show the casino vote too close to call.

The poll, conducted by David Binder Research, San Francisco, found that 49 percent of those called support a casino in Linn County, 47 percent oppose it and 4 percent are undecided. The poll results are within the poll's margin of error of 5 percent.

In its comments about the poll, the research firm said voters largely have made up their minds on the issue and so the winning side will be the side that gets its supporters out to vote.

"This is encouraging news," Scott Stines, a Just Say No Casino member, said on Tuesday.

Todd Henderson, another Just Say No Casino member, added that the poll results show that Linn County voters remain skeptical of the proposed casino plan being offered by local investors led by businessman Steve Gray.

"With just three weeks left, casino investors have not made a strong case for why this is the right choice for Linn County," Henderson said.

Sam Roecker, a consultant with the Just Say No Casino campaign, on Tuesday pointed out that casino backers had hoped that the March 5 vote would secure a large majority of Linn County support for a casino, support that the investors then could take on to the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission to make the case for a state casino license.

"That (large majority) doesn't look likely given this poll," Roecker said.
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