Pornography Question May Fail, Poll Shows
Cambridge voters today will likely defeat proposed a control on pornography, approve a ban on local testing of nerve gas, and support Harvard's sale of housing to faculty members on a preferential basis, a Crimson telephone survey shows.
According to interviews with 215 voters, the proposal to allow lawsuits against the makers and distributors of pornography--the most controversial of the three referendum questions on today's ballot--will likely be defeated by a 2-to-1 margin, 54 percent to 26 percent.
The random survey, which reached registered voters from all areas of the city, also indicated that some 20 percent of voters questioned last Thursday through yesterday had not yet decided whether they favored or opposed the binding referendum.
On a second ballot question, the Crimson poll suggested that area voters may defeat a ban on Harvard Real Estate's continued sales of housing to faculty members and other University affiliates.
About 47 percent of those polled said they would allow Harvard to continue its preferential sales policy, while 36 percent said they would like to see a halt to the longtime University policy.
Seventeen percent of those interviewed said they were uncertain how they would vote on the housing issue. Although non-binding, the referendum calls upon the state to amend the city's rent control laws to prohibit future sales.
On the third referendum question, area voters seem certain to approve a long-debated ban on the local research and testing of nerve gas agents by an overwhelming margin.
Some 64 percent of voters said they would support such a ban, 24 percent said they would oppose it, and 12 percent said they did not know how they would vote on the non-binding proposal when they went to polling places today.
Who's It Gonna Be?
While all but a few Cambridge voters polled were willing to volunteer their opinions on the three referenda, they were more reluctant to say who among the 22 City Council candidates would win their support.
Some 42 percent of voters said they either had not decided or did not want to say who would get their "number one" votes--the strongest possible method of supporting a candidate in Cambridge's proportional voting system.
Those voters who said they were certain of their candidate choices were strongest in their support for several incumbent councilors.
About 10 percent of those questioned said they would cast their number one votes for Mayor Francis H. Duehay '55. Other candidates garnering from 5 to 10 percent of voters polled were Councilors Saundra K. Graham, David E. Sullivan, and Alice K. Wolf.
Asked to indicate whether their candidate choices would align ac- cording to Cambridge's several political camps, some 44 percent of voters said they do not vote slate politics.
But the newest political slate, the three-candidate Coalition '85, was not without support, with some 12 percent of voters saying they would vote for the moderate slate. Some 16 percent of voters polled said they would vote for the neighborhood-oriented Independents, while the liberal Cambridge Civic Association was the choice of 28 percent of those interviewed.
If a majority of the incumbent councilors win reelection, the poll suggested it would not be a surprise.
That's because the public opinion survey indicated a majority of city voters believes the outgoing council has done a good job in the past two years, with 57 percent of voters overall saying they approved of the council's performance, as opposed to 16 percent disapproving and 27 percent saying they did not have an opinion.
According to the Crimson poll, support for the outgoing council is somewhat stronger among tenants than among property owners.
Residents of non-rent-controlled apartments gave the council a good rating by a margin of about 67 to 7 percent with 26 percent unsure, while 49 percent of independent home or property owners gave the council a positive rating, with 23 percent disapproving of its performance and 28 percent unsure.
More than half of all voters surveyed said they consider rent control the most important issue of the election. That is three times the number of voters who ranked any other issue as most significant, though between 5 and 10 percent of those polled said they are particularly concerned about each of the following: city services, the city budget, university expansion, and low-income housing.
The following candidates are running for Cambridge City Council: Lewis Armistead Jr., Francis Budryk, Elio Centrella, Daniel J. Clinton, Thomas W. Danehy, Vincent L. Dixon, Francis H. Duehay '55, Saundra K. Graham, Alfred W. LaRosa, Geneva Malenfant, Kenneth E. Reeves '72, Hugh Adams Russell '64, Sheila T. Russell, Renae Scott, George W. Spartichino, David E. Sullivan, Walter J. Sullivan, Karen Swaim, Michael H. Turk, Alfred E. Vellucci, William J. Walsh, Alice K. Wolf.
The following candidates are running for Cambridge School Committee: Alfred B. Fantini, Jane F. Sullivan, Frances H. Cooper, Sara O. Garcia, Richard P. Griffin, David P. Kennedy, Joseph E. Maynard, Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Larry Weinstei