Supporters of the America’s Cup outnumber opponents by four to one, according to a new poll commissioned by The Royal Gazette.
The Global Research survey found that 70 per cent of registered voters said they supported Bermuda hosting the sailing contest, compared with 17 per cent who oppose it and 13 per cent who said they don’t know.
In July 2015, only 52 per cent of respondents had said they supported the Bermuda Government’s financial support for the Cup, with 27 per cent disapproving and 21 per cent on the fence.
Larger numbers now appear convinced the event will provide good publicity for the island and boost the economy and tourism — although some maintain it only benefits the rich and privileged.
A breakdown by race shows 95 per cent of whites support Bermuda hosting the Cup, compared with 55 per cent of blacks. Some 25 per cent of blacks said they opposed it, compared with 3 per cent of whites.
The Cup finds most favour with the older generation, with 90 per cent of people aged 65 and older saying they support it, and just 3 per cent opposing. Among those aged under 35, by comparison, 68 per cent offered support and 20 per cent were opposed.
The telephone poll of 400 registered voters, carried out between May 15 and 19, has a margin of error of +/- 5 per cent.
Respondents were asked: “Do you support or oppose the America’s Cup?”
Among those who support Bermuda hosting the America’s Cup, the top reasons given were:
• Good exposure for the island: 38 per cent
• Good for the economy: 28 per cent
• Good for tourism: 17 per cent
• Creates jobs: 7 per cent
Among those who oppose Bermuda hosting the America’s Cup, the top reasons given were:
• Only benefits the rich and privileged: 27 per cent
• Not as important as schools, seniors, housing or healthcare: 23 per cent
• Costs government too much money: 19 per cent
• Unsure or unaware of the benefits: 17 per cent.