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          With less than a week left before voters in the Triad
     area will decide whether they want to help pay for a new
     ballpark, "the pro-stadium campaign has tightened the race
     dramatically," according to David Rice of the WINSTON-SALEM
     JOURNAL.  A new poll of 438 likely voters found that 50% of
     voters in Forsyth and Guilford counties oppose a tax on
     prepared foods and baseball tickets to help pay for a
     ballpark, while 43% support it.  The telephone survey was
     taken April 28-29 and was conducted for the newspaper by
     Mason-Dixon Political/Media Research.  It has a margin of
     error of +/- 5%.  The numbers show the gap has narrowed
     since a similar poll last month which showed 61% against the
     tax and 31% for it.  But Rice writes that poll came before
     the Twins played an exhibition game in the area and prior to
     radio and TV ads that began to tout baseball.  The survey
     also showed that 22% of those who said they'll vote for the
     proposal "made up their minds in the past week."  Other
     numbers showed a "sizable gender gap" over the ballpark as
     53% of men surveyed favor the tax, while "just" 33% of women
     support it.  In another note, 4% of those who favor the tax
     do so because they don't want Charlotte to get an MLB team. 
     Ballpark proponents will increase their GOTV efforts this
     week and new TV ads featuring NASCAR drivers and Triad
     residents talking about baseball are set to debut (WINSTON-
     SALEM JOURNAL, 5/1).  In related news, a new study by the
     Univ. of NC-Greensboro shows that an MLB team could be
     "successful in the region and improve the area's economy and
     quality of life."  But the study said it must include a
     "fair lease that protects taxpayers."  The study assumed an
     average attendance of 18,000 (NEWS & RECORD, 4/30).

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