A proposed constitutional amendment aimed at ending betting on live dog racing is headed to defeat on the November ballot, a new Florida Chamber of Commerce poll shows.
In fact, only two amendments seem to have at least the required 60 percent support to be added to the state constitution, according to the poll.
Amendment 13 is polling at 46 percent in favor, 36 percent opposed and 17 percent undecided. In Florida, live dog racing is still conducted at 11 tracks.
The Florida Supreme Court earlier this month ordered the proposal back on the ballot, reversing a lower-court judge.
The court, in a 6-1 decision, overturned a previous order by Circuit Judge Karen Gievers, who ruled that Amendment 13’s ballot title and summary would mislead voters, calling it “outright ‘trickeration.’ ”
Justice Peggy A. Quince dissented.
Pari-mutuels in Florida usually are required to continue running live dog or horse races to have slots and card games that make those facilities more money. A move afoot called “decoupling,” removing the live racing requirement, has failed in the Legislature in recent years.
The ballot question is one of several amendments — by lawmakers, citizen groups, and the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) — that face voters this fall.
Of the other amendments, only Amendment 1, placed on the ballot by the Legislature and which increases the homestead exemption, and Amendment 7, placed by the CRC and which guarantees survivor benefits for families of first responders and the military, show enough support to pass.
The poll was conducted Sept. 19-24 of 622 likely voters. Of those, 41.5 percent were registered Democrats, 40.5 percent were Republicans and 18 percent said they did not belong to a major party. The poll’s margin of error is 4.4 percentage points.
Below are responses to the poll’s findings.
From Jack Cory, spokesman and lobbyist for The Florida Greyhound Association:
“The people of the state of Florida are just now beginning to focus on the November election. They will not put up with ‘trickeration’ from out-of-state political action committees and their ‘coalition of the misinformed.’
“This is the second independent poll, not paid for by the proponents, to show Amendment 13 losing by double digits. Floridians are learning the truth and facts about live greyhound racing, and that is good for Florida and good for the greyhounds, with over 90 percent adopted to loving homes.”
From Carey Theil, Senior Advisor, Yes on 13 campaign:
“These findings are virtually identical to a survey by the same pollster in May. The race is unchanged.
“If the survey had gone deeper, it would have discovered that voters are moved by our arguments and aren’t moved by industry arguments. We will gain significant support in the coming weeks, and are in a strong position to win.”
From Jennifer Newcome, of the Committee to Support Greyhounds, which opposes the amendment:
“The Committee to Support Greyhounds is so thankful for and appreciative of all of the support bestowed upon us from animal lovers and enthusiasts, both statewide and nationwide.
“With so many amazing organizations and Florida’s voters standing side by side to protect these amazing athletes, we are confident that the proud tradition of greyhound racing in Florida will continue to prosper after November, and for many years to come.”