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Poll: tax will pass

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Polling commissioned by the Arkansas Times last week showed support for the proposed city sales tax hike across the city, with 62 percent indicating they'd vote for the 5/8ths cent operational tax and 55.75 percent favoring the 3/8ths cent capital tax.

Most of the 400 respondents, all registered to vote in Little Rock, were Democrats, women and white. A caveat: A hefty two-thirds of respondents said they definitely were going to vote. Turnout won't match that.

More Democrats (73 percent of those who identified themselves as Democrats) than Republicans (43.96 percent) support the operations tax.

Among Democratic respondents, the capital tax won 65.9 percent approval; among Republicans, 40.6 percent. Support for the operational tax was broad racially, with 67.6 percent of African American respondents and 64.5 percent of white respondents indicating approval. Forty-eight percent of Hispanics were in favor of the operational tax. But conventional wisdom is that the tax will not pass in black precincts, and only 17 percent of those who responded to the poll were African-American; 67 percent were white. And while 70.5 percent of the majority black Ward 1 respondents were in favor of the operational tax and 52.9 percent for the capital tax, only 8.5 percent of the total respondents were from Ward 1.

Most of those who responded were from Ward 5, the westernmost zone that includes the wealthy Chenal area, at 30.5 percent; 59 percent of those voters favored the operational tax, and 54 percent the capital tax.

To the question "Do you generally approve or disapprove of the job that Little Rock City Government is doing?" 48.2 percent approved, 29 percent disapproved and 27.7 percent didn't know or had no opinion.

Mayor Stodola got a 50 percent approval rating.

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