Well, it isn't surprising an issue like transit could split voters down party lines, but transit advocates found the positives in the poll questions about MARTA asked by both Democrats and Republicans in Tuesday's primary.
Democrats overwhelmingly (70 percent) said they would be willing to pay a 1 percent sales tax for an extension of the service into Gwinnett.
But Republicans - who took twice as many ballots Tuesday - rejected the notion by a margin of 63 percent to 37 percent.
Adding the two together, Lee Biola of Citizens for Progressive Transit said he was glad to see a jump in support to 47 percent from the 1990 vote's 30 percent.
"This is a major improvement," Biola said in a press release. "Transit definitely has momentum on its side."
In the release, Biola cited a March poll from the Transit Planning Board, where 57 percent of Gwinnett voters said they would approve a tax to pay for bus and rail projects but 20 percent said they would be less likely to support a system if the money went to the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
"Gwinnett voters may or may not want MARTA to be the agency that provides them transit," said Biola. "But this vote, combined with previous polls, shows that Gwinnett voters want some form of expanded rail and bus service."
Chuck Warbington, executive director of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District, which has been lobbying for transit options, said he would continue to work on a rail vision for the county. He said the non-binding votes were premature because issues such as cost and location had not been finalized.
In the Citizens for Progressive Transit release, officials agreed, saying, "A clear agreement on what would be built could sway the remaining 3 percent of voters needed for approval in a future referendum."
Increasing traffic and gas prices could seal the deal, they added.
"More and more people are ready to invest in a better system," Biola said. "Voters do not like having to drive everywhere and they need options that can save them time and money."
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.