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Poll: Many Bostonians aren’t breathlessly following the race to land Amazon’s HQ2

Associated Press

Local business and political leaders may be in the thick of the chase to bring Amazon’s much-coveted “second headquarters” to Boston. But regular Bostonians? Many are indifferent to the process, and some remain oblivious to it.

That’s the takeaway from a new poll of residents who live in metro areas Amazon is considering for its $5 billion campus.

Only 34 percent of Boston area residents said they “strongly support” Amazon bringing its HQ2 here, while 22 percent “neither support nor oppose” the idea. Those numbers are the lowest and highest, respectively, in the 16 metro areas polled by Elon University and American City Business Journals.

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Another 38 percent of the 386 Boston-area residents polled said they “somewhat support” the project — meaning that overall, a sizeable majority views it favorably — and only 5 percent said they’re opposed.

Thirteen percent said they haven’t heard anything about the effort to bring Amazon’s campus to Boston.

The Boston polling numbers are a sharp contrast to those in Atlanta and Pittsburgh, where 52 percent came out strongly in favor of landing Amazon. And that could weigh on the giant retailer’s decision, which is expected later this year, said Elon Poll director Jason Husser.

“The balance between cheerleaders and opponents is key to how a major change is received within a community,” he said. “Our results suggest Amazon should expect Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Indianapolis to be particularly rich with advocates.”

Opposition to Amazon was strongest in Denver and Austin, with concern that HQ2 would bring higher housing prices and more traffic.

Support tended to be higher among people who thought their region’s economy needs the extra boost that Amazon’s second home will probably bring.

Most people, in most places, said their city would be the “best choice from the perspective of Amazon executives.”

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But 16 percent of Bostonians thought that Amazon might actually be better off somewhere else. Only Denver had more people who said, “It’s not you, it’s me,” to one of the world’s biggest companies.

Full results of the poll are available here.


Tim Logan can be reached at tim.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.