UNF Poll Results: Duval Schools Tax; Rutherford Vs. Deegan

The University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab released a new poll Thursday morning on a variety of issues that include the proposed half-cent Duval County Public Schools sales tax and the 4th Congressional District race between Republican incumbent John Rutherford and Democratic challenger Donna Deegan. | Read story coverage

Survey Results

As you may know, there is a presidential election coming up on November 3rd. How likely are you to vote in the upcoming election?

Answer ChoicesDuval Likely Voters n=551
You will definitely vote90%
You will probably vote<1%
You will probably not vote
You will definitely not vote1%
Already voted8%
Don’t Know/Refusal<1%

If the election for Representative in U.S .Congress were held today and the candidates were John Rutherford for the Republican Party and Donna Deegan for the Democratic Party, who would you vote for? [Congressional District 4 Only]

Answer ChoicesCD 4 Likely Voters n=863
John Rutherford, REP57%
Donna Deegan, DEM38%
Someone Else3%
Wouldn’t Vote2%
Don’t Know/Refusal<1%

If the November 2020 general election were held today, and the following measures were on the ballot, how would you vote:

School District of Duval County, Florida Surtax Referendum

School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax to Improve Safety and the Learning Environment To upgrade aging schools through repairs and modernization, to keep schools safe and to continue to promote a conducive learning environment, to improve technology, and to replace existing or build new schools, and share with charter schools for their allowable uses, shall the Duval County School Board be authorized to levy a 15-year half-cent sales surtax, with expenditures based upon the Surtax Capital Outlay Plan, and monitored by an independent citizens committee?

Answer ChoicesDuval Voters June[1] n= 2,253Duval Likely Voters October n=545
For the calf-cent tax69%69%
Against the half-cent tax32%28%
Don’t Know/Refusal3%

JEA Referendum

Amending Jacksonville Charter, Granting City Council Authority to Appoint and Remove Four JEA Board Members

Shall the Jacksonville Charter be amended to create a new Section 4.03 and amend Section 21.03 which will (1) grant to City Council the executive power to appoint and remove four members of the JEA Board and (2) amend the qualifications of Board members? 

This Charter amendment, if implemented, will have no impact on revenues and like the current selection process may have a minimal, or immeasurable, impact on costs to the City of Jacksonville.

Answer ChoicesDuval Likely Voters n=545
Don’t Know/Refusal4%

Below is a list of people, please select whether you approve or disapprove of the job each are doing.

Mayor Lenny Curry:

Answer ChoicesDuval Voters June[2] n=2,489Duval Likely Voters October n=545
Strongly Approve17%22%
Somewhat Approve28%25%
Somewhat Disapprove24%28%
Strongly Disapprove25%21%
Don’t Know/Refusal6%4%

Sherriff Mike Williams:

Answer ChoicesDuval Voters June[3] n=2,470Duval Likely Voters October n=545
Strongly Approve20%29%
Somewhat Approve24%25%
Somewhat Disapprove16%22%
Strongly Disapprove21%18%
Don’t Know/Refusal19%5%

Do you think Florida is moving too slowly or too quickly to ease social distancing restrictions and reopen, or is it about right?

Answer ChoicesDuval Likely Voters n=545
Too Quickly55%
Too Slowly17%
About Right28%
Don’t Know/Refusal<1%

What is a bigger concern for you, the public health impacts or the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic?

Answer ChoicesDuval Voters  April[4]  n= 381Duval Voters June[5] n= 2,493Duval Likely Voters  October  n=545
Public health impacts70%60%63%
Economic impacts30%40%37%
Don’t Know/Refusal<1%1%

Do you agree or disagree that face masks work to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus?

Answer ChoicesDuval Likely Voters n=545
Strongly Agree63%
Somewhat Agree21%
Somewhat Disagree8%
Strongly Disagree9%
Don’t Know/Refusal

In your opinion, what is the most important problem facing Jacksonville? 

Answer ChoicesDuval Likely Voters n=508
Access to healthcare1%
Improving downtown area8%
Race relations10%
Improving transportation and infrastructure8%
Reducing tax burden3%
Access to public transportation1%
Improving the environment1%
Improving storm infrastructure and drainage2%
Countywide high-speed internet<1%
Access to housing3%
Corruption in local government1%
Something else8%

In general, do you think the police in Jacksonville can be trusted to do the right thing:

Answer ChoicesDuval Voters, June[6] n=2,492Duval Likely Voters, October n=545
All of the time8%13%
Most of the time46%52%
Some of the time29%28%
Not very often at all17%7%
Don’t Know/Refusal1%

Do you agree or disagree that black people and white people receive equal treatment from the police?  

Answer Choices  Duval Voters, June[7] n= 2,459Duval Likely Voters, October n=545
Strongly Agree  15%22%
Somewhat Agree  21%15%
Somewhat Disagree  19%14%
Strongly Disagree  45%49%
Don’t Know/Refusal  <1%

Do you agree or disagree that Hispanic people and white people receive equal treatment from the police?  

Answer Choices  Duval Likely Voters n=545
Strongly Agree  22%
Somewhat Agree  18%
Somewhat Disagree  18%
Strongly Disagree  42%
Don’t Know/Refusal  <1%

Do you think the deaths of black people during encounters with the police are isolated incidents or signs of a broader problem of systemic racism?  

Answer Choices  Duval Likely Voters, June[8] n=2,452Duval Likely Voters, October n=545
Isolated incidents  41%41%
Signs of a broader problem of systemic racism  59%58%
Don’t Know/Refusal  <1%

Survey Demographics

What is the highest grade in school or year of college you have completed?

Answer ChoicesDuval Likely Voters n=545
Less than High School Degree<1%
High School Graduate6%
Some College66%
College Graduate18%
AgeDuval Likely Voters n=545
65 and older22%
RaceDuval Likely Voters n=545
White (Not Hispanic) 61%
Black (Not Hispanic)28%
SexDuval Likely Voters n=545


The UNF Fall Statewide Poll was conducted and sponsored by the Public Opinion

Research Lab at the University of North Florida from Thursday, October 1 through Sunday, October 4, 2020. The survey was administered through email via Qualtrics, an online survey platform. The sample frame was comprised of 863 registered likely voters in Congressional District 4, and 545 registered likely voters in Duval County, 18 years of age or older. Likely voters were determined a self-identified likelihood to vote. The email addresses used for this survey were sourced from the Florida’s Division of Elections October 2020 update and selected through the use of probability sampling among registered voters in the Florida voter file. A sample of Congressional District 4 was also used, including voters in Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties. 

The margin of sampling error for the CD4 sample is +/-3.3 percentage points, and +/-4.2 percentage points for Duval County. Data were weighted by partisan registration, age, race, sex, education, geography and vote choice in 2016. Education weights were created from the Census’ 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) estimate for the percent of college-educated individuals in the state of Duval County. Partisan registration, sex, race, geographic and age weights were created from the October update of the Florida voter file to match the active registered voters in Florida. 

There were no statistical adjustments made due to design effects. This study had a 2.5% response rate. This survey was directed by Dr. Michael Binder, UNF associate professor of political science. 

[1] conducted in June 2020

[2] Data from PORL’s Jax Speaks Survey conducted in June 2020

[3] conducted in June 2020

[4] Data from the PORL COVID-19 survey conducted in April 2020.

[5] conducted in June 2020

[6] Data from PORL’s Jax Speaks Survey conducted in June 2020

[7] Data from PORL’s Jax Speaks Survey conducted in June 2020

[8] conducted in June 2020