September 2 - Madrid's bid to host the 2016 Olympics has the biggest public support while Tokyo's has the worst, a new report published to coincide with the publication of the International Olympic Committee's Evaluation Report has discovered.
The survey, "Sponsoring 21+" prepared by Germany-based sponsoring consultancy Sport+Markt, said 93 per cent of Spanish respondents backed the Madrid bid, closely followed by rivals Chicago and Rio de Janeiro.
Hartmut Zastrow, the executive director at Sport+Markt, said: "The population's passion for a sports event is the key to its success."
Madrid, bidding for the second successive time having unluckily lost to London to host the 2012 London , is banking on the legacy of the Barcelona 1992 Games and its Mediterranean climate to swing the vote but is widely seen as an outsider because of its location.
Zastrow said: "The Spanish enthusiasm for Madrid's bid is very remarkable.
"Madrid's chances are said to be low as the Summer Games in 2012 in London are already on European soil."
Tokyo, who topped the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) overall technical Evaluation last June ahead of Madrid, ranks as the lowest bidder for local support, a problem throughout its well-organised bid.
Just 72 per cent of 1,000 people interviewed across Japan judged its proposal "good or very good," the report said.
Zastrow said: "The bid of Tokyo does not have enough support in its own country so far.
"This weakens the Japanese bid immensely."
Bookmakers' favorite Chicago comes second with 92 per cent of public backing in the United States.
Rio, promoting the city's friendly atmosphere and the hosting of the 2007 Pan American Games as key reasons for holding a successful Games, has 89 per cent of nationwide support, the report added.
The survey is a boost to Madrid ahead of the publication of the Evaluation report later today.
The report, issued exactly a month before the IOC members vote at its Session in Copenhagen on which city should host the Games, will not grade or rank the candidates, focusing instead on technical criteria such as venues, budgets, transportation plans, accommodation, security and Government and public support.
The report, which is based on visits by the Evaluation Commission earlier this year, which was led by Morocco's Nawal El Moutawakel (pictured), who along with a team of IOC members and experts visited all four bid cities, is not expected to offer any dramatic findings or provide any clear-cut winner or losers.
It should list some potential criticisms or concerns, however.
With IOC members still barred from visiting bid cities in the wake of the Salt Lake City scandal, the report is intended to offer guidance to the 100-plus delegates when they cast their secret ballots on October 2.
Some members have been critical of the reports for merely listing statistics and not making clear which bids are better than others.
But Gerhard Heiberg, a member of the IOC's ruling Executive Board, claimed that the report could be crucial.
The Norwegian said: "It could be very important.
"At this stage there is no front-runner and no one lagging behind.
"All are on an equal basis.
"The report will be studied by IOC members perhaps more than before."
The first IOC evaluation report made public was in 1993 during the bid process for the 2000 Olympics, which were awarded to Sydney.