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Poll shows flood bond referendum in good shape

Standard caveats apply.

A majority of Harris County voters say they will support a $2.5 billion flood infrastructure bond at the polls later this month, according to University of Houston research released Monday.

Sixty-two percent of residents who said they are certain to vote said they will support the bond, compared to 55 percent of all respondents. Just 10 percent said they oppose the bond, while one-third remain unsure.

“People see flooding as a Houston and Harris County problem, not a problem affecting only certain neighborhoods or people,” Jim Granato, executive director of UH’s Hobby School of Public Affairs, said in a statement. “They believe the region’s future will be decided, at least in part, by how we respond.”


Residents who sustained property damage from Hurricane Harvey were slightly more likely to support the bond than those who remained dry, 60 percent to 52 percent.

Partisanship appears to play little role in residents’ views on the bond, as 58 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of Democrats support the proposal, which has wide support elected officials from both parties.

Sixty-nine percent of college-educated residents said they’ll vote yes, while the poll found residents 65 and older support the bond to the tune of 58 percent. Seniors whose homes are worth less than $200,000, as well as residents who are disabled, would not see their taxes rise because of the bond.

Just 18 percent of the youngest polling cohort, residents 18 to 25, said they support the bond, though 59 percent professed they remain unsure.

Harris County residents found most agreement when asked whether Austin should help the region’s recovery by tapping into the state’s Rainy Day Fund. Almost 88 percent said the Abbott administration should.

You know the drill: It’s one poll, polling local races is always tricky because the turnout model can vary wildly, nobody knows who is going to show up for a weirdo August election. That said, the fact that 55% of all adults were in favor of the bond, with the number climbing to 62% for the self-proclaimed likely to vote, is a positive sign. At the very least, it suggests that the people who are paying more attention are also more likely to favor the bond. The low numbers for those who are against it, much lower than those with no opinion, also augur well. I think this poll is probably correct about the outcome, though getting the exact numbers right is anyone’s guess. Early voting starts Wednesday – you know, tomorrow – so we’ll know soon enough. How are you voting on this? Since I was asked in an earlier post, I’ll state that I am voting for it. What about you?

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  1. Bill Daniels says:

    I’m betting this will pass, for one reason, one that Kuff has highlighted:

    “….nobody knows who is going to show up for a weirdo August election.”

    This is yet another in a long line of intentionally ill-timed “weirdo” elections, intended to depress voter turnout. I’m sure Harris County employees, and Harris County contractors are all going to be heavily encouraged to vote for this, and to enlist their families and others they know to vote. Meanwhile, John Q. Public who doesn’t really follow politics and elections, has zero idea what’s going on and doesn’t vote.

    This is exactly how school districts get their bonds passed. Do we really think the average taxpayer who is struggling to pay his property tax is really that excited about semi-pro quality high school football stadiums?

  2. Jason says:

    Since the corrupt MF’er who runs COH isn’t asking for it, I’ll vote for it.

  3. Michelle says:

    I agree with Mr, Daniels statement above. In addition, I have a problem with giving another staggeringly large amount of money to the County Commissioners when they have shown such aversion to transparency and accountability