Press Release for Monday, November 25, 2002

Poll finds support for military

SURVEY SHOWS STRONG SUPPORT FOR MILITARY IN JACKSONVILLE

JACKSONVILLE . A public opinion poll of Jacksonville residents shows strong support for the military’s presence in the community as well as for the establishment of a national military cemetery here.

The survey was conducted by 30 UNF students in a political science research methods class. The students chose the topic and helped to develop the questionnaire. The study was conducted at the Public Opinion Research Laboratory which is part of UNF’s Florida Center for Public Policy and Leadership. The survey obtained responses from 401 residents between Nov. 13 and 18. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent. 

Nearly 80 percent of the respondents said that the presence of military bases in and around Jacksonville were very important to the area’s economy. Almost 60 percent said closure of one of more of the bases would severely harm the local economy.

The views of political candidates on military issues were considered very important by 53 percent of the respondents while nearly half indicated that they trust the Republican Party more than the Democratic Party on such issues. Almost a quarter of respondents said they trusted neither party on such issues.

The establishment of a national military cemetery in Duval County was supported by 77 percent of the respondents.

The strong support for the military was evident in the 62 percent of respondents who strongly agreed that the military in the Jacksonville community are good neighbors.

3 percent of the respondents currently serve in the military and about 27 percent have an immediate family member in the military.

Matt Corrigan, director of the Public Opinion Research Laboratory, said in a time where the nation may be headed for war, this study highlights the strong positive opinions that Duval County residents have of the military here. “The military is viewed as a vital economic and social neighbor in this community,” he said.

The survey was a joint project of UNF’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration, the Institute of Government and the Florida Center. The Center’s Public Opinion Research Laboratory examines critical issues confronting Floridians. It serves as a resource for public policymakers, faculty researchers, government agencies, non-profit agencies, businesses and students at Florida’s universities.

Complete survey results are posted on the Florida Center’s web site at www.thefloridacenter.unf.edu.