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Poll Shows Voters Evenly Divided Over Casino Proposal

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A Baltimore-based company wants to build a slot machine casino at Arundel Mills Mall. A recent poll shows 48 percent of voters are in favor of the plan and 45 percent oppose it.
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A Baltimore-based company wants to build a slot machine casino at Arundel Mills Mall. A recent poll shows 48 percent of voters are in favor of the plan and 45 percent oppose it.

A new, independently conducted poll shows voters in Anne Arundel County, Md., are split on whether to allow a massive casino at Arundel Mills Mall.

With more than forty seven hundred glitzy slot machines the proposed casino would be Maryland's largest. County officials approved it but now residents get an up-or-down vote on the ballot measure. Of the likely voters, Gonzales Research polled 48 percent favor a casino at the mall, while 45 percent are opposed.

Laslo Boyd, a partner with Gonzales, says those numbers are a statistical dead heat.

"The obvious thing that it tells you is that it's very close. And that it could go either way--that neither side should be getting over confident at this point. The margin is very close," Boyd says.

Respondents are largely split upon party lines, with more Democrats in favor. Cordish Companies of Baltimore, which is pushing the casino, says the momentum is clearly going their way.

"It's very clear the people want the jobs. We're in an economy that's depressed. There's a lot of people who are hurting who need the jobs," says Joe Weinberg, president of the Cordish Company.

But it's a Republican county and analysts say those voters are more motivated this year, which opponents at No Slots at the Mall say will benefit them.

"Well we're very optimistic that with two weeks to go, we're in it and we're going to keep pressing for every vote, and if I have to go and kiss a million babies I will to get the votes," says David Jones, chairman of No Slots at the Mall.

Both sides of the debate have already spent millions on advertising, and they agree on one thing: neither is letting up on their campaign efforts in these final weeks.

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