Press Release for Monday, January 31, 2005

New UNF Poll Shows Jacksonville Supports Super Bowl, Optimistic About Future

Contact Sharon Ashton
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2115

New Poll Shows Jacksonville Supports Super Bowl, Optimistic About Future

JACKSONVILLE – A University of North Florida poll has found that residents of Jacksonville are optimistic about the future of the city, are proud to live in Jacksonville and think the city is ready to host Super Bowl XXXIX. On other local issues, the poll found that voters approve of Mayor Peyton’s work, want to keep the U.S.S. Kennedy at Mayport and think Florida’s growth management laws are ineffective.

The poll was conducted from Jan.18 through 27 by Dr. Matthew Corrigan of the UNF Public Opinion Research Laboratory. A total of 711 registered voters living in Duval County were interviewed by phone for the poll.

According to the poll, 90% of voters surveyed are proud to live in the City of Jacksonville and 91% are optimistic or somewhat optimistic about the future of the city. Of those surveyed, 57% said they would stay in Jacksonville if they could live anywhere in the United States while 41% said they would move. Sixty-five per cent of those polled said they believe Jacksonville is ready to host a successful Super Bowl and four in ten said that a better image nationally is the most important benefit that Jacksonville should receive from hosting the game. Of those surveyed, 21% said they expected better jobs to result from the city hosting the game.

The poll showed Mayor Peyton’s approval rating at 73%. The survey showed Sheriff John Rutherford’s approval at 62%, City Council approval at 54%, Governor Bush’s approval at 64% and President Bush’s approval at 56%.

On the issue of the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier, 62% of voters surveyed disagree with the Pentagon’s decision to decommission. Eighty five per cent of those surveyed believe the Kennedy is important or somewhat important to the local economy and 79% believe that if the Kennedy leaves, other ships should replace it at Mayport.

On the issue of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, 91% of voters had heard about the recent deaths of three suspects and 62% of those who had heard about the cases have confidence in the JSO’s ability to safely handle suspects. However, confidence level varies based upon race with 64% of African-American respondents saying they do not have confidence in how the Sheriff’s Office handles suspects and 74% of white citizens expressing confidence. Of those questioned, 68% said they strongly or somewhat strongly support the creation of a Civilian Review Board to review police activities.

On the final issue of development in the Baymeadows area, of those familiar with the issue, only 24% believe a housing development should be built on the Baymeadows Golf Club (64% don’t agree). In a related matter, 41% believe Florida’s growth management laws are effective, 37% believe those laws are not effective and 21% said they did not know enough about the laws to respond.

The margin of error for the entire survey is +/-3.6%, higher for subgroups. The survey was conducted through the use of Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing at a 27-station polling laboratory at the University of North Florida. A sample was selected through the use of Random-Digit-Dialing methodology. A geographic sample covering the entire city was contacted. For non-completes with a working residential phone line, at least six callbacks were attempted. To ensure a representative sample, calls were made from 5 to 9 p.m. Thirty students at the University of North Florida performed data collection. The laboratory employs Spanish-speaking interviewers to ensure ethnic representation. Due to rounding, some totals in tables may vary.

For a complete look at the UNF poll, please contact Sharon Ashton at sashton@unf.edu or (904) 620-2115.

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