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Press Release for Monday, May 9, 2016

Jax Speaks Poll: Mixed News for Mayor Curry’s Pension Plan

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

Jax Speaks Poll: Mixed News for Mayor Curry’s Pension Plan

A new poll from the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL) shows mixed support and opposition among Duval County residents with Mayor Lenny Curry’s sales tax referendum, which is slated to be voted on later this year.

“Curry has some work to do in order to convince voters that the sales tax extension is the right thing to do to try and solve our pension problems,” said Dr. Michael Binder, UNF PORL faculty director. “There is opportunity for him; 40 percent of the sample didn’t have an opinion about the upcoming pension ballot measure.”

Pension Support Among Self Identified Partisanship
n= 380 Democrat Republican Independent/
Support 33% 42% 36%
Oppose 25% 20% 25%
Don’t Know/
No Answer 42% 38% 39%

Respondents were asked whether they support or oppose the referendum that will be presented to voters in August’s primary election. Of respondents there was a plurality of uncertainty with 40 percent of residents answering “Don’t Know” or “No Answer,” while 36 percent expressed support to Curry’s pension solution. Within the partisan divide that exists on this topic, Republicans showed higher levels of support, 42 to 20 percent. Democrats were more mixed, 33 to 25 percent, while Independents and others show similar levels of support polling at 36 to 25 percent.

“Mayor Curry and his pension plan supporters seem to be getting the word out to Republicans, as they are more supportive at this early stage. But the extremely high levels of uncertainty highlight the opportunity that the mayor has to make his case to voters during the next few months,” said Binder.

Respondents’ overwhelming support, 64 to 26 percent, to “expand the Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) to include anti-discrimination protection on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations,” paints a clear picture of what Duval County residents want.

“Human rights have been a hot button political issue in Jacksonville since the City Council failed to pass an HRO almost four years ago,” said Binder. “This data shows that our residents continue to be supportive of a fully inclusive HRO. Democrats, Independents and Republicans are all in favor of the city adopting these protections. Perhaps the City Council’s constituents are more supportive of the HRO than they know.”

Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) Support Among Self Identified Partisanship
n= 380 Democrat Republican Independent/
Support 71% 48% 69%
Oppose 20% 42% 21%
Don’t Know/
No Answer 8% 10% 10%

“I want to emphasize that this isn’t a likely voter survey for the August statewide primary, said Binder. “This survey is made up of county residents and gives us an idea about where they stand on two very important issues.”

The Jax Speaks Poll was conducted May 2 through May 5 by telephone calls conducted in English and Spanish to 380 Duval County residents 18 years of age or older. The margin of error is 5 percent. This survey was sponsored by the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF. 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. Since its opening in March of 2001, the PORL is an independent, non-partisan center and is a charter member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research Transparency Initiative.

Scientific Telephone Samples provided the sample selected through the use of Random-Digit-Dialing methodology for both landlines and cell phones. Upon reaching individuals through the landline telephone sample, respondents were selected in the household by being the first qualified participant to be available to participate. Cellphone sample respondents were selected by being the first qualified participant to answer the phone.

The sample is of adults (18 years and older) who are residents of Duval County. The general population or total sample was weighted by age, gender, race, race and partisan identification to the estimated 2014 American Community Survey, from the U.S. Census Bureau and party registration statistics from the Duval County Supervisor of Elections. For more information about methodology, contact Dr. Michael Binder at or (904) 620-2784.

All choices read out loud to respondent except “Don’t Know (DK)” and “No Answer (NA)”

[ASK ALL] Do you support or oppose the referendum to be presented to Jacksonville voters in the August 30 primary election that reads, “Permanently closing up to three of the City’s underfunded defined benefit retirement plans, increasing the employee contribution for those plans to a minimum of 10 percent and ending the Better Jacksonville half-cent sales tax are all required to adopt a half-cent sales tax solely dedicated to reducing the City’s unfunded pension liability. Shall such pension liability sales tax, which ends upon elimination of the unfunded pension liability or in 30 years maximum, be adopted?”

Total Sample n= 380
Support 36%
Oppose 24%
DK/NA 40%

[ASK ALL] Do you support or oppose the City of Jacksonville expanding the city’s human-rights ordinance to include anti-discrimination protection on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations?

Total Sample n= 380
Support 64%
Oppose 26%
DK/NA 10%

[ASK ALL] Regarding politics, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent or something else?

Total Sample n= 384
Democrats 36%
Republicans 29%
Independent 35%
DK/NA --

[ASK ALL] What is your racial/ethnic background? Are you:

Total Sample n= 383
White/Caucasian 56%
Black/African American 28%
Hispanic/Latino 8%
Asian 4%
Other 3%
DK/NA 2%

[ASK ALL] What is your highest grade in school or year of college you have completed?

Total Sample n= 381
Grade school 7%
High School graduate/GED 25%
Some college 44%
College Graduate 17%
Postgraduate degree 7%
DK/NA --

[ASK ALL] Would you mind telling me how old you are?

Total Sample n= 383
18-24 13%
25-44 35%
45-64 34%
65 and older 18%
DK/NA 1%


Total Sample n= 380
Male 47%
Female 53%

[NOT ASKED] Determined from sample*

Total Sample n= 380
Landline 23%
Cellphone 77%
* Telephone sample purchased for this project was pre-identified as landline or cellphone from Scientific Telephone Sample.

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