Majority Say Crime Most Important Issue Facing Jacksonville
The Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida has a new poll of likely voters that reveals Republican incumbent Lenny Curry is in the lead for the upcoming mayoral election in Jacksonville, with Anna Lopez Brosche a distant second. The survey also shows that a majority of respondents believe crime is the most important issue facing Jacksonville today.
The poll, comprised of likely Jacksonville voters, shows that 52 percent of respondents plan to vote for Curry. Regarding the other mayoral Republican candidates, 15 percent plan to vote for Brosche and 3 percent for Jimmy Hill. Six percent of likely voters plan to vote for Omega Allen, the only candidate without a party affiliation, 3 percent indicated that they would vote for another candidate and 22 percent don’t know who their choice will be for mayor.
Among Democrats, 25 percent indicate they plan to vote for Curry, 25 percent for Brosche, 12 percent for Allen and 2 percent for Hill. Thirty-two percent of Democratic likely voters don’t know for whom they’ll cast their vote. Of Republican likely voters, 78 percent say they will vote for Curry, while only 4 percent indicate they’ll vote for Brosche, 4 percent for Hill and 1 percent for Allen. Thirteen percent don’t know.
Additionally, the poll shows that 62 percent of likely voters in Jacksonville believe crime is the most important issue facing Jacksonville, followed by education at 13 percent. Of those who believe crime is the most important issue, 58 percent plan to vote for Curry, while 13 percent plan to vote for Brosche. Of likely voters who said education is the most important issue, 51 percent plan to vote for Curry and 14 percent plan to vote for Brosche.
“The election is upon us, absentee ballots have been mailed out and early voting begins in less than two weeks,” said Dr. Michael Binder, faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF. “It’s very late in the game to dramatically change the narrative of these races.”
When asked who they would vote for in the 2019 election for Jacksonville Sheriff, 56 percent said they would vote for Mike Williams, the incumbent Republican, while 33 percent of likely voters claimed they would vote for Tony Cummings, the Democrat. For the Property Appraiser election, 57 percent indicated they would vote for Jerry Holland, the incumbent Republican, and 28 percent for Kurt Kraft, the Democrat. In the election for Tax Collector, incumbent Republican Jim Overton has 47 percent, followed by Democrat John R. Crescimbeni at 35 percent.
In the Jacksonville City Council At Large elections, there was a great deal of variation. For At Large Group 1, Lisa King, the Democrat, is ahead with 32 percent, followed by the Republican candidates: Jack Daniels, Terrance Freeman and Gary Barrett, with 10 percent, 5 percent, and 5 percent, respectively. A large number of likely voters—45 percent—aren’t sure where they’ll cast their vote. In At Large Group 2, 36 percent of likely voters indicated they would vote for Republican Ron Salem and 35 percent for Democrat Darren Mason, with 29 percent undecided.
In the election for At Large Group 3, incumbent Democrat Tommy Hazouri is ahead with 38 percent, followed by Republican Greg Rachal at 26 percent. The other Democrat, James C. Jacobs, has 12 percent, and 25 percent don’t know. At Large Group 4’s candidates are all Republicans, with Matt Carlucci at 43 percent, Don Redman at 14 percent and Harold McCart at 3 percent of likely voters. Forty percent are undecided. In At Large Group 5, 31 percent of likely voters indicated they would vote for Samuel Newby, the incumbent Republican, followed by Chad Evan McIntyre, the Democrat, with 29 percent. The candidate with no party affiliation, Niki Brunson, is at 6 percent and 34 percent don’t know.
“All of the races, and especially the At Large Council seats, have large proportions of “don’t know” responses,” Binder noted. “Also, it’s important to remember for races with multiple candidates, if nobody gets to 50 percent, there will be a run-off for the top two candidates in May.”
For details about the methodology of the survey and additional crosstabs by partisanship, sex, education, race and age go to: unf.edu/coas/porl/2019JaxSpeaks.aspx.
The UNF Jax Speaks Poll was conducted and sponsored by the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida from Saturday, February 16, through Tuesday, February 19, by live callers via the telephone; calls were made from 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, with a maximum of five callbacks attempted. Interviews were conducted in English by UNF undergraduate students and employees. Data collection took place at the PORL facility with its 27-station Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing system. The phone numbers used for this survey were sourced from the January 9, 2019, update of the Florida Voter File. Answer choices were ordered on the survey instrument in the order that they appear on the election ballot.
The sample frame was comprised of potentially likely voters who reside in Jacksonville. Potentially likely voters were determined by vote history and having voted in the any of the following elections: 2015 First Election, 2015 General Election or in both the 2018 Primary Election and 2018 General Election. The voters who met these requirements were then randomly contacted by probability sampling. Respondents who answered that they would “definitely vote” in the upcoming 2019 first election qualified to participate in the survey. Overall, there were 962 completed surveys of likely Jacksonville voters, 18 years of age or older.
The margin of sampling error for the total sample is +/- 3.1 percentage points. The breakdown of completed responses on a landline phone to a cell phone was 28 to 72. Through hand dialing, an interviewer upon reaching the individual as specified in the voter file asked that respondent to participate, regardless of landline telephone or cell phone. Data were then weighted by partisan registration, sex, race, age and education. Education weights were created from the 2017 American Community Survey. Partisan registration, sex, race and age weights were created from the January 9, 2019, update of the Florida voter file to match the active registered potentially likely voters in Duval County. These demographic characteristics were pulled from the voter file list. All weighted demographic variables were applied using the SPSS version 23 rake weighting function, which will not assign a weight if one of the demographics being weighted on is missing. In this case, individuals without a weight were manually given a weight of one. There were no statistical adjustments made due to design effects. This study had a 29 percent response rate. The American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Response Rate 3 calculation was used, which consists of an estimate of what proportion of cases of unknown eligibility are truly eligible. This survey was sponsored by the UNF PORL and directed by Dr. Michael Binder, UNF associate professor of political science.
The PORL is a full-service survey research facility that provides tailored research to fulfill each client’s individual needs from political, economic, social and cultural projects. The PORL opened in 2001 and is an independent, non-partisan center, a charter member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research Transparency Initiative and a member of the Association of Academic Survey Research Organization. As members of AAPOR, the PORL’s goal is to support sound and ethical practices in the conduct of survey and public opinion research. Moreover, the PORL is a charter member of the AAPOR Transparency Initiative and a member of the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations. For more information about methodology, contact Binder at [email protected] or at (904) 620-2784.
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