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Embargo for August 23, 2018, 5 a.m. EST

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2102


Methodology Results Contact: Dr. Michael Binder

Public Opinion Research Faculty Director

(904) 620-2784




UNF Poll Shows Lawson Leading Brown in Congressional District 5 Democratic Primary

A new poll of likely Democratic voters in Florida's Congressional District 5 by the Public Opinion Research Laboratory (PORL) at the University of North Florida shows 48 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said they would vote for incumbent Al Lawson, while 29 percent said they would vote for former Jacksonville mayor Alvin Brown, when asked about the 2018 congressional primary election. The poll reveals 22 percent were undecided.


"Early voting is well underway, Election Day is just a few days away and Lawson has a commanding 19-percentage point lead," said Dr. Michael Binder, UNF PORL faculty director and associate professor of political science. "Brown supporters might point to the large number of undecided voters as potential supporters, but late deciders never swing entirely for one candidate."


Democratic voters across Congressional District 5 have very similar beliefs about the most important problems in the United States-political leadership (approximately 30 percent) and health care (13 percent) top the list. Democratic voters think crime is the most important problem, while only 10 percent of the Western counties think crime is the most important problem.


"Roughly half of Congressional District 5 voters are in Duval County, and even though Brown is ahead by 18 percentage points in Duval, that isn't nearly enough. Lawson is ahead by nearly 60 percentage points in the counties west of Duval," said Binder, noting that the relationship between support for Brown and Lawson and a respondent's support for governor could influence the gubernatorial primary.


Andrew Gillum, current Tallahassee mayor, has plurality support among both Lawson and Brown voters, Binder says. He believes high turnout in this area could propel Gillum to victory on August 28.


For crosstabs by gender, race and education, go to


The UNF Poll of Congressional District 5 was conducted and sponsored by PORL at the University of North Florida, from Friday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Aug. 19, by live callers via the telephone; calls were made from 4 to 9 p.m. daily.Interviews were conducted in English only by UNF students. The phone numbers used for this survey came from the voter file database provided by the Florida Division of Elections' June 13, 2018, update.


The sample frame was comprised of likely voters who reside in Congressional District 5. Likely voters were determined by vote history, having voted in either the 2014 or 2016 primary elections, all voters who were 18 and 19 years of age were included as likely since they were ineligible to vote in the previous primary. Likely voters, who met these requirements were then randomly contacted by probability sampling. Respondents who answered that they would "definitely vote," "probably vote" or had "already voted" in the upcoming Florida Primary Election qualified to participate in the survey. Overall, there were 402 completed surveys of likely Congressional District 5 Democratic voters, 18 years of age or older.


The margin of sampling error for the total sample is +/- 4.9 percentage points. The breakdown of completed responses on a landline phone to a cell phone was 38 to 60 percent (2 percent were unidentified).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. To ensure a representative sample being collected, the district was stratified based on whether the respondent lived in Duval County or outside the area. The total sample was then weighted by age, sex and race (ASR weights) from the total population of likely voters determined by the above criteria. Education weights were determined by computing a high education turnout from the ASR weighted education question and a low education turnout from the 2016 American Community Survey One-Year education data source and establishing a median weight between these two turnout education weights. There were no statistical adjustments made due to design effects.


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 Binder at or at (904) 620-2784.

Survey Results

Completed Surveys by Geographic Region within Congressional District 5
Total Sample n=402
1 - Duval county 195
2 - All other counties 207


As you may know the Florida Primary Election is being held on August 28th. How likely are you to vote in this election…
Answer Options CD5 Likely Voters n=402
You will definitely vote 82%
You will probably vote 8%
Already voted 10%


In your opinion, what is the most important problem facing the US today? [ROTATE ANSWERS]
Answer Options CD 5 Likely Dem Voters n=402 Duval County CD 5 Likely Dem Voter n=195 Non Duval County CD 5 Likely Dem Voter n=207
Economy/Jobs/Unemployment 7% 7% 7%
Education 9% 9% 10%
Healthcare 13% 14% 12%
Immigration 5% 4% 6%
Environment 3% 2% 5%
Crime 19% 27% 10%
Terrorism 2% 1% 3%
Foreign Policy 2% 1% 3%
Political Leadership 31% 29% 33%
Something Else 6% 6% 7%
Don't Know 3% 1% 5%
Refused <1% - 1%


If the Democratic Primary election for Florida's 5th Congressional District of the US House of Representatives were being held today, who would or did you vote for? [ROTATE ANSWERS]
Answer Options CD 5 Likely Dem Voters n=375 Duval County CD 5 Likely Dem Voter n=181 Non Duval County CD 5 Likely Dem Voter n=194
Al Lawson 48% 29% 68%
Alvin Brown 29% 47% 10%
Someone Else 1% - 2%
Don't Know 22% 24% 20%


If the Democratic Primary election for Governor of Florida were being held today, who would you vote for? [ROTATE ANSWERS]
Answer Options CD 5 Likely Dem Voters n=382 Vote for Lawson n=185 Vote for Brown n=107
Andrew Gillum 31% 37% 32%
Gwen Graham 16% 22% 13%
Jeff Greene 10% 11% 12%
Chris King 2% 2% 6%
Phillip Levine 18% 16% 20%
Someone Else 2% 2% -
Don't Know 21% 11% 17%

Survey Demographic

Are we reaching you today on a landline or cell phone?
Answer Options CD 5 Likely Dem Voters n=402
Landline 38%
Cell Phone 60%
Refused 2%


What is the highest grade in school or year of college you have completed?
Answer Options CD 5 Likely Dem Voters n=402
Less than High School Degree 3%
High School Graduate 23%
Some College 33%
College Graduate 23%
Post Graduate 16%
Refused 2%


Race of respondent from the voter file
Answer Options CD 5 Likely Dem Voters n=402
American Indian <1%
Asian <1%
Black 67%
Hispanic 1%
White 29%
Other 1%
Multiracial <1%
Unknown 1%


Age of respondent from the voter file
Answer Options CD 5 Likely Dem Voters n=402
18-24 7%
25-34 8%
35-44 11%
45-54 16%
55-64 23%
65 and over 36%


Sex of respondent from the voter file
Answer Options CD 5 Likely Dem Voters n=402
Male 37%
Female 63%


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