Polling results by local pollster John Nienstedt of Competitive Edge, financed by the arch-conservative Lincoln Club, purportedly show that 51 percent of San Diegans support a government subsidy for a Chargers stadium if the gift came to around one-third of a $1 billion facility.
Now the Chargers have come back with their own polls showing starkly different results. The team commissioned two nationally known polling organizations that contacted samples of San Diegans this month.
The first was by Peter Hart, the pollster for NBC/Wall Street Journal. The Hart organization did polls over the past two weeks. The question: "Do you favor or oppose spending at least $375 million of taxpayer money from the city and county general funds to build a new NFL football stadium in Mission Valley?"
The answers were almost identical. In the first poll, 66 percent opposed using taxpayer money, 28 percent favored it, and 6 percent were not sure. In the second poll, 66 percent opposed, 29 percent favored, and 5 percent were not sure.
Fabiani points out that Nienstedt was paid by the Lincoln Club, which has been attacking the Chargers through Facebook ads. Also, Nienstedt is the mayor's long-time local pollster.
"In addition, we believe that the mayor's poll did not provide the information necessary for respondents to make up their minds," says Fabiani.
The Chargers also commissioned polls by Baselice & Associates. In an initial poll, respondents were asked if they approve of the city and county spending $400 million from the city and county general funds for a new NFL stadium. Results: 33 percent favor, 61 percent oppose, 6 percent unsure. In the second poll, the wording was changed to state "taxpayer money." Results; 30 percent favor, 66 percent oppose and 4 percent unsure.