Poll supports Astrodome bond

Yesterday, KHOU released a poll on the Mayoral election. Tonight, it has released a second poll, specifically pertaining to the Astrodome bond referendum.

Any many will recall, all the voters of Harris County will see a $217 Bond measure on the ballot this November, that will seek to convert the Astrodome into a convention center. The ballot measure already has some somewhat zealous opponents, mainly hailing from the Tea Party (and others with a pathological hatred of the government). However, a broad coalition of supporters have emerged as well.

The poll showed 45% in favor of passing the bond measure, 35% oppose and 20% undecided. As the lead spokesperson for the Save-the-Dome PAC, Dene Hofheinz, mentioned, that this only means 1/4 currently undecided voters need to be convinced, somewhat good odds.

The poll’s full demographic results have yet to be released, though. KHOU notes that, unlike previous polls and snapshots on the matter, younger people were more open to the idea than older voters. The stark differences that do remain, however, are that Whites & Hispanics are far more supportive than African-Americans and that those optimistic about the city’s future are more supportive than those pessimistic. I cannot speak in any more than those generalities, as I do not have the detailed information.

The poll is a welcomed development for me. I have long been a tad bit suspicious of the referendum as something that was doomed to fail, thus ushering in the demise of the eighth wonder of the world. This, however, gives me a slight amount of hope.

Save the Dome!

The Houston Chronicle reports that a Political Action Committee (PAC) has been formed to fight to save the Astrodome, pending a ballot measure on the November ballot. Not too long ago, the Commissioners Court approved placing the $217M bond issue this November, concurrent with the municipal elections and Statewide ballot measures.

The PAC is receiving endorsements from an all-star cast that includes current officers such as County Judge Ed Emmett and County Commissioner El Franco Lee, as well as former County Judges Jon Lindsay and Robert Eckels. Dene Hofheinz, daughter of former Mayor Roy Hofheinz and sister of former Mayor Fred Hofheinz, also made statements in support of the group.

The article in the Chronicle mentions the Offshore Technology Conference, which has historically met at the George R. Brown convention center Reliant stadium. The group now pledges that they would host the conference at the Astrodome, giving some business and economic opportunity to the project.

The article also mentions other opportunities for an Astrodome Convention Center, including the possibility of a political convention. The astute will remember that the 1992 Republican Convention was held at the Astrodome, so the idea is not truly unprecedented.

This group is giving a small bit of backing to the idea that Emmett & Co actually want the Astrodome to be saved.