Congress Square Park Polled

Since I’ve been discussing Public Policy Polling and poll sponsors lately, I figured I’d post a new poll of Portland residents commissioned by an unidentified opponent of the sale of Congress Square Park. Rockbridge Capital has plans to buy the space from the city and build an event center.

It looks like PPP has done a good job of writing relatively simple and straightforward questions about this issue. The results show 34% of respondents supporting the sale, 49% opposed and 17% undecided. 63% of those polled said the issue should be put to a public vote.

Congress Square Plaza With the Union Station Clock in the Foreground.

A caveat here is that most Portlanders probably aren’t deeply informed on the issue, and it’s not one where partisanship and other factors create sharply-defined lines (although more men and Republicans are in favor of the sale than other demographics). Public opinion could probably change a great deal based on new information.

The organization or individual that paid for the poll has elected to remain anonymous, although the public relations firm they hired to commission the survey, Baldacci Communications, describes them as a client with “concerns about the sale of Congress Square.”

The fact that they’ve paid for a professional poll and have taken these steps to remain anonymous means that this release probably doesn’t come from the coalition of urban campers that has been publicly protesting the sale. This piece from the Press Herald based on interviews with people who were called for the poll (and apparently another, similar one conducted at the same time) may offer some clues.

Mike Tipping

About Mike Tipping

Mike writes about Maine politics and policy with a focus on analysis and explanation. He works at the Maine People's Alliance and Maine People's Resource Center, writes a political column for the Portland Press Herald