Does turnout matter?
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This paper examines the 2015 vote on a non-binding referendum on a portion of the program of downtown redevelopment in Amarillo, Texas. Despite early polls indicating that the referendum would be easy defeated, Amarillo voters approved building a multi-purpose event center (MPEV) as part of a wave of downtown redevelopment. The analysis considers the reasons why the referendum was approved despite the vocal opposition to it. We find that voter turnout played a significant role in the referendum’s approval. We also find that a professional campaign can win an election that seems lost at the beginning.