Yesterday I wrote about a poll commissioned by Houstonians for Responsible Growth on Metro and the General Mobility Program. That poll suggested that any changes to the GMP would be difficult for Metro to get, especially in the face of a negative campaign against it. Later in the day, I received the following in my inbox:
A telephone survey of 600 likely November voters recently conducted in the METRO service area shows that voters support a potential ballot measure ensuring continued mobility payments by METRO to local cities and the county, fixed at the 2014 level, by a margin of 67 percent to 24 percent.
The poll was commissioned by Keep Houston Moving Forward PAC, a group formed to pass a ballot measure this fall that will determine the future of the mobility payments.
METRO’s board is currently considering a number of options for the ballot measure; the option tested in this poll is a compromise put forward by METRO Chair Gilbert Garcia between those who want to discontinue the payments entirely and use the funds entirely for transit, and those who want the payments to continue without alteration.
“Voters in the METRO service area support safe and reliable public transit to relieve traffic congestion but are also concerned about the condition of their streets. The proposal we tested is a fair compromise that has strong voter support,” said Billy Briscoe, a spokesperson for Keep Houston Moving Forward PAC.
Here’s the poll memo that was included as an image in the email:
This is all the information I have on the poll. The HRG poll initially showed plurality support for capping the GMP payments in 2014, so this result is not a surprise. The higher level of support for that in this poll can be explained by differences in the sample, differences in how the question was phrased, random variation, or some combination of all three. The main thing it tells me is that it’s highly unlikely Metro will present an up-or-down vote on keeping the GMP as is or doing away with it. I mean, if even the PAC supporting Metro’s efforts didn’t poll the question – or did poll it but didn’t like the result enough to release it – that says a lot. At this point I’d guess the frontrunners are a cap-or-keep-as-is question or something more involved like the Spieler proposal. We’ll know more on Friday when the Metro board discusses the proposals that have been put before it. Houston Politics has more.