88 percent of LA residents want the Olympics, poll finds

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Eighty-eight percent of Los Angeles County residents want Los Angeles to host the 2024 Olympics, according to the results of a new poll conducted by Loyola Marymount University and sponsored in part by KPCC.

It's the first major independent survey gauging local Olympic support, and the percentage is even higher than the results from an internal poll conducted by Olympic organizers last year, which revealed 81 percent of L.A. residents support hosting the Games.

“Across the board, everybody is just very supportive," said Brianne Gilbert, associate director at the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at LMU, which gauged support for the Olympics as part of its annual public opinion survey of L.A. County.

"This is really something Angelenos want to see in L.A," said Gilbert. "The support is really phenomenal.” 

Most of those who want the games to return to Southern California cited economic reasons, with 31 percent saying an economic boost was the top reason why L.A. should host the Olympics, and 18 percent citing a boost in job creation. (Although as KPCC has reported before, many economists say the actual economic impact Olympics have on cities is small.)

Those who don't want the Olympics cited traffic congestion (21 percent) followed closely by the cost (2o percent.)

Of those who support a 2024 Olympics in Los Angeles, 56 percent are "strongly supportive" while 32 percent are "somewhat supportive."

Telephone interviews were conducted during the first six weeks of the year. The survey had a margin of error of ±3.0% and used sampling so that the 2,425 respondents represent the demographics of Los Angeles county. However, researchers found almost no differences between groups, which Gilbert says is very unusual.

"I’ve never seen that in any survey I’ve done," said Gilbert. "There was no demographic or geographic group that had less than 80 percent support for the Olympics."

Los Angeles is competing against Rome, Paris and Budapest to host the 2024 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee will make its selection in 2017.

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