October 12, 2017
Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
Methodology Results Contact: Dr. Michael Binder
Public Opinion Research Lab Director
Racial and Partisan Divisions on Confederate Statues in Jacksonville
A new poll of registered voters in Duval County by the Public Opinion Research Laboratory (PORL) at the University of North Florida finds that approximately 53 percent of Duval County registered voters oppose removing Confederate statues from public spaces, and 38 percent support their removal. Opposition is stronger among registered Republicans at 83 percent, while registered Democrats support removal of the statues at 56 percent. A similar split can be seen when comparing white and black respondents. Of the white registered voters, 68 percent oppose removing the Confederate statues, and 62 percent of black registered voters support their removal from public spaces.
“With these sizable partisan and racial differences on this issue, I just hope that emotions stay in check and ultimately we come to a resolution that everybody can live with,” Dr. Binder, faculty director of the PORL, commented.
For the third year in a row, Jacksonville residents view crime as the most important problem facing the city, with 40 percent of registered voters. Women are more likely than men to believe that crime is the most important problem facing Jacksonville. Fully half of the women in the sample see crime as the most important problem, whereas only 28 percent of men in the sample feel the same.
Mayor Lenny Curry continues his strong job approval number since he’s been in office as 69 percent strongly or somewhat approve of the job he is doing. Even Jacksonville City Council has high approval numbers, as 50 percent approve and only 26 percent disapprove. When asked about Mike William’s approval rate, 67 percent of Duval County registered voters strongly or somewhat approve of how he is handling his job as Jacksonville’s Sheriff. Like the mayor, the sheriff’s job approval crosses partisan lines as Republicans have 82 percent overall approval, and Democrats are not that far behind with 60 percent approval.
The State Attorney, Melissa Nelson, has 55 percent job approval almost a year into her first term, but only 13 percent disapproval as almost a third of registered voters did not offer an opinion. Public Defender Charlie Cofer has only 36 percent approval and 14 percent disapproval, but 50 percent of the voters did not offer an opinion.
“All of Duval’s political leaders have extremely high job approval numbers,” said Dr. Binder. “Contrast this level of satisfaction with what is happening in Washington right now, and downtown looks like a political paradise.”
Regarding the homeless in Jacksonville, 65 percent of registered voters in Duval County believe the city is doing too little to reduce homelessness. Another topic of interest concerning the City Council is the funding of a public pool at UNF. Support for committing city funds to build a public pool at UNF is at 72 percent of the overall sample.
For detailed methodology and crosstabs by party registration, gender, education, and race; click here.
The Jax Speaks Poll was conducted by PORL Monday, October 2, through Wednesday, October 4, by live callers via the telephone, and calls were made from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The sample of phone numbers was created through the voter file provided by Florida’s Division of Elections January 2017 update and selected through the use of probability sampling among Duval County, Fla. registered voters in the Florida voter file. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by UNF undergraduate and graduate students. Overall, there were 512 completed surveys of Duval County registered voters, 18 years of age or older. Of those, 509 answered the demographic questions needed for weighting.
The margin of sampling error for the total sample is +/- 4.3 percentage points. The breakdown of completed responses on a landline phone to a cell phone was 20 to 80 percent. A single interviewer, through hand dialing, upon reaching the specific registered voter as identified in the Florida voter file, asked the respondent to participate, regardless of landline telephone or cell phone. The total sample was then weighted by partisan registration, gender, race, age, and education. Education weights were created from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). Partisan registration, gender, race, and age weights were created from the September 2017 update of the Florida voter file to match the active registered 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. There were no statistical adjustments made due to design effects. 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. For more information about methodology, contact Dr. Binder at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (904) 620-2784.
Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Lenny Curry is handling his job as Mayor of Jacksonville?
Duval County Registered Voters n=509
Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Lenny Curry is handling his job as Mayor of Jacksonville?*
2016 Likely Voters
2015 Likely Voters
*Mayor Alvin Brown is listed in parentheses for the years he was in office
Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Jacksonville City Council is handling its job?
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mike Williams is handling his job as Jacksonville’s Sheriff?
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mike Williams is handling his job as Jacksonville’s Sheriff?*
*JSO is listed in parentheses for the years “Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office” was asked
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Patricia Willis is handling her job as the Duval County Superintendent of Schools?
2016 Likely Voters
*Nikolai Vitti is listed in parentheses for the years he was the superintendent
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Anna Brosche is handling her job as Jacksonville City Council President?
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Charlie Cofer is handling his job as Public Defender?
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Melissa Nelson is handling her job as State Attorney?
In your opinion, what is the most important problem facing Jacksonville?
Improving Transportation and Infrastructure
Improving the Downtown Area
Duval County’s Most Important Problem
Most Important Problem
Percentage of Respondents
2017 Registered Voters
2016 Likely Voters
2015 Likely Voters
2014 Registered Voters
2012 Registered Voters
Do you support or oppose removing Confederate statues from public spaces around Jacksonville?
Do you support or oppose the City of Jacksonville contributing funds to the building of a publicly accessible pool at the University of North Florida?
*According to UNF administration, the University is not seeking nor would it accept public funds for a public pool.
Do you think that the City of Jacksonville is doing too much, too little, or about the right amount to reduce homelessness in Jacksonville?
About the right amount
How appealing do you think downtown Jacksonville is to young adults?
What area (if any) of downtown Jacksonville should the city prioritize for development and improvements?
Hemming Park/City Hall
Resources should be directed elsewhere
Less than high school
High school graduate
Post graduate degree
Survey language completed in…
White (not Hispanic)
Black (not Hispanic)
NPA and other
18 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 55
56 to 64
65 and older
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