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L.A. POLL YIELDS OPPOSITION TO DOWNTOWN ARENA

     A poll of 1,000 "high-propensity" L.A. resident voters shows
that "three-quarters oppose spending public money to build a
hockey and basketball arena -- or a hotel and entertainment
complex -- near the Convention Center downtown, and more than a
third would prefer to see the new arena built in Inglewood rather
than L.A.," according to Jodi Wilgoren in the L.A. TIMES.  The
poll, funded with $15,000 from three Inglewood-based
institutions, was commissioned by Councilperson Nate Holden, who
is viewed as "one of the most vigorous opponents" toward the
downtown project.  83% surveyed said local residents should vote
on whether the city should subsidize a new arena; "only" 31%
would like to see an arena downtown; while 38% "favored" a
competing site near Hollywood Park in Inglewood; and 31% did not
know.  L.A. Times Acting Poll Dir Susan Pinkus said the Holden
survey didn't ask "the most basic question," of "Should a new
arena be built at all?"  Pinkus also "criticized" the methodology
of the pollster, Claremont-McKenna College political science
professor Fred Balitzer, saying that "using prepared lists of
voters rather than random phone numbers skews the sample."
Balitzer defended his method: "High-propensity voters are a
window into the life of the electorate" (L.A. TIMES, 10/16).
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