Press Release for Tuesday, December 12, 2006

UNF Poll Shows Peyton Holds Lead for 2007 Mayoral Race

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

A new University of North Florida poll shows that Jacksonville residents would vote for Mayor Peyton in the 2007 mayoral race and they’re concerned about the city’s murder rate and homelessness issue.

The supervised poll, conducted between November 28 and December 6, was conducted at the Public Opinion Research Laboratory at UNF and was performed through the use of Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing.

The survey includes 402 likely Jacksonville voters. For this survey, a likely voter is an individual who is registered to vote, voted in the 2004 presidential election and voted in the recent November election. Margin of error for the entire sample is +/- 5 percent.

Among the findings:

--Thirty-six percent of respondents indicated that they will vote for Peyton in 2007, while 12 percent reported they will vote for Michael Weinstein. Eleven percent will vote for Jackie Brown. Roughly one-third reported they are “somewhat likely” to change their minds and vote for someone else in the mayoral election.

--Job approval ratings are as follows (percentage of respondents that reported either “strongly” or “somewhat” approve): John Peyton—71.4 percent;
John Rutherford—71.2 percent; Harry Shorstein—63.4 percent; Jacksonville City Council—54 percent; Jeb Bush—66.7 percent; and George Bush—49 percent

--For respondents in this poll, the most important issue for candidates to address in the upcoming election is the murder rate. A third of the sample mentioned murder as the most important issue. Education was the second most important issue to 20 percent of the respondents, while 14 percent of respondents said economic growth was important.

--Ninety-eight percent of respondents polled reported being either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” with the Jacksonville murder rate. Four out of 10 respondents approve of the job the city has done in response to the murder rate and 49.5 percent disapprove.

--When asked what city government could do to lessen violence in Duval County, 30 percent mentioned more police presence. Education and interventions for youth was the second most popular choice at 15 percent.

--Survey respondents—80 percent—are also concerned about Jacksonville’s homelessness issue. Fifty-one percent disapprove of the city’s response to the homelessness issue and one-fourth approve of the city’s efforts.

--Forty-three percent of respondents think help in finding jobs for the homeless is the best option for the city to use in addressing the problem, while 28 percent indicated that providing additional support for shelters and emergency housing was the best option for the city.

--Thirty-six percent of respondents reported that the number of homeless individuals makes them reluctant to visit downtown; however, 57 percent indicated it doesn’t make them reluctant to go downtown.

For complete survey results, go to