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Press Release for Monday, March 9, 2015

UNF Poll Shows Crime Tops List of Voters’ Concern

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

A new poll from the Public Opinion Research Laboratory at the University of North Florida reveals that crime tops the list of concerns among likely voters in Duval County. When asked about the most important problem facing Jacksonville today, 33 percent of likely voters answered crime, followed by education (17 percent) and the economy/jobs (13 percent).

Only 9 percent of likely voters think solving the public pension problem is Jacksonville’s most important problem, and the two most discussed plans are only receiving tepid support. When asked whether voters support or oppose a half-cent tax increase dedicated to reducing the pension obligation, 48 percent indicated support for the plan, while 45 percent were opposed to the idea.

Likewise, when asked whether voters support or oppose having JEA pay a one-time lump sum to help pay down the pension obligation in exchange for reduced payments to the city’s general fund in the future, only 45 percent were supportive of the idea, while 46 percent were opposed.

Regarding the Human Rights Ordinance, 62 percent of likely voters approve of the city adding sexual orientation to the existing list of groups protected from workplace discrimination, while a mere 27 percent are opposed.

When asked to rate the environmental quality of the St. Johns River, 55 percent of likely voters think the river is either mostly or very polluted. A solid majority (58 percent to 38 percent) of likely voters are supportive of a one-cent tax increase if those funds went to restoring the health of the St. Johns River.

Forty percent of the likely voters polled approve of the job that the Jacksonville City Council is doing. Twenty-four percent of those polled approve of the job that Matt Shirk, public defender, is doing, while 37 percent disapprove and 38 percent didn’t know or refused to answer. State Attorney Angela Corey has a job approval rating of 35 percent, while a majority of voters (51 percent) disapprove of the job she is doing. 

The Public Opinion Research Laboratory, through the use of a 27-station telephone-polling laboratory at UNF, conducted the survey. Approximately 120 UNF students participated in the data collection. A polling sample of randomly selected likely voters was drawn from the Duval County Supervisor of Elections voter file. Likely voters are classified as voters who cast a ballot in three of the four previous general elections (2011 first election, 2011 general election, 2012 general election and 2014 general election) or for more recently registered voters if they have voted in all eligible general elections (both 2012 and 2014, or only 2014 if they were registered to voter after the 2012 general election).

The survey was conducted Monday, Feb. 23, through Friday, Feb. 27, and includes 546 adult registered likely voters in Duval County with a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Race, gender and party registration were weighted to reflect an electorate that is similar to what turned out in March 2011—partisan registration is roughly equal and African-American voters represent approximately 28 percent of electorate.

Below are the full results of this poll, which was supported by Dr. Barbara Hetrick, College of Arts and Sciences dean. For more information or questions about methodology, contact Dr. Michael Binder, UNF assistant professor of political science, at (904) 620-1205 or m.binder@unf.edu.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.


Toplines

Q1. In your opinion, what is the most important problem facing Jacksonville?  
N=546  +/- 4% Even Party ID (Similar March 2011)
Economy/Jobs 13%
Improving the Downtown Area 7%
Education 17%
Improving Transportation and Infrastructure 6%
Crime 33%
Solving the Public Pension Problem 9%
Balancing the Budget 8%
Something Else 4%
DK/R 2%

Q10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jacksonville City Council is handling its job?
N=546
Strongly Approve 8%
Somewhat Approve 32%
Somewhat Disapprove 25%
Strongly Disapprove 18%
DK/R 17%

Q12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Nikolai Vitti is handling his job as the Duval County Superintendent of Schools?
N=546
Strongly Approve 22%
Somewhat Approve 28%
Somewhat Disapprove 13%
Strongly Disapprove 17%
DK/R 21%

Q13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Matt Shirk is handling his job as public defender?
N=546
Strongly Approve 6%
Somewhat Approve 18%
Somewhat Disapprove 11%
Strongly Disapprove 26%
DK/R 38%

Q14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Angela Corey is handling her job as state attorney?
N=546
Strongly Approve 15%
Somewhat Approve 20%
Somewhat Disapprove 16%
Strongly Disapprove 35%
DK/R 13%

Q15. How satisfied are you with the quality of public education in Jacksonville?
N=546
Very Satisfied 7%
Somewhat Satisfied 32%
Somewhat Unsatisfied 23%
Strongly Unsatisfied 29%
DK/R 10%

Q20. Do you support or oppose the City of Jacksonville adding sexual orientation to the existing list of groups protected from workplace discrimination? 
N=546
Strongly Support 43%
Somewhat Support 19%
Somewhat Oppose 9%
Strongly Oppose 18%
DK/R 11%


Support for HRO by Party Registration
N=546 Democrat Republican NPA Total
Strongly Support 53% 30% 54% 43%
Somewhat Support 19% 21% 15% 19%
Somewhat Oppose 9% 10% 4% 9%
Strongly Oppose 10% 27% 14% 18%
DK/R 9% 13% 12% 11%

Support for HRO by Race
N=546 White African-American Other Total
Strongly Support 43% 42% 54% 43%
Somewhat Support 19% 21% 16% 19%
Somewhat Oppose 8% 10% 7% 9%
Strongly Oppose 19% 14% 18% 18%
DK/R 11% 13% 5% 11%

Q21. Do you support or oppose a half-cent tax increase dedicated to reducing the pension obligation?
N=546
Strongly Support 26%
Somewhat Support 22%
Somewhat Oppose 13%
Strongly Oppose 32%
DK/R 6%

Q22. Do you support or oppose having JEA pay a one-time lump sum to help pay down the pension obligation in exchange for reduced payments to the city’s general fund in the future?
N=546
Strongly Support 22%
Somewhat Support 23%
Somewhat Oppose 13%
Strongly Oppose 23%
DK/R 18%

Q26. How would you rate the environmental quality of the St. Johns River?
N=546
Very Clean 2%
Mostly Clean 27%
In Between 12%
Mostly Polluted 37%
Very Polluted 18%
DK/R 4%

Q27. Do you support or oppose a one-cent tax increase if those funds went to restoring the health of St. Johns River?
N=546
Strongly Support 34%
Somewhat Support 24%
Somewhat Oppose 15%
Strongly Oppose 23%
DK/R 4%

Q28. Are we reaching you today on a landline or cell phone?
N=546
Landline 40%
Cell Phone 59%
R 1%

Q29.What is the highest grade in school or year of college you have completed?
N=546
Less than High School Degree 2%
High School Graduate 15%
Some College 31%
College Graduate 30%
Post Graduate 19%
DK/R 2%

Q30. What is your annual household income?
N=546
Less than $25,000 9%
$25,000-$50,000 21%
$50,000-$75,000 16%
$75,000-$100,000 13%
Above $100,000 20%
DK/R 22%

Q31. Race
N=546
White 67%
African-American 28%
Hispanic 3%
Other 2%

32. Party ID
N=546
Democrat 45%
Republican 45%
No Party Affiliation 7%
Other 2%

33. Gender
N=546
Male 46%
Female 54%


-UNF-