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Poll: ‘Overwhelming Majority’ Plan To Vote For Duval Schools Tax; Rutherford Leads Deegan

Duval County Public Schools headquarters

Sixty-nine percent of likely Duval County voters plan to vote in favor of levying a half-cent sales tax for Duval County Public Schools, according to a poll released Thursday morning by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab.

The poll indicated "an overwhelming majority plan to vote in favor” of the 15-year, half-cent sales tax proposal, which would fund repairs and new buildings, where needed, according to a news release sent to WJCT News.

“Jacksonville is very supportive of investing in their public schools, something we have consistently seen in our polling over the years,” Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and associate professor of political science, said.

Related:Explore The UNF Poll Results

Twenty-eight percent of likely voters said they would vote against the proposal and 3% were unsure.

The poll also took the pulse of likely voters in North Florida's Congressional District 4. Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. John Rutherford was the favorite by a long shot, with 57% saying they would vote for the congressman, while 38% said they would vote for Democratic challenger and former TV anchor Donna Deegan, who founded the DONNA Foundation, best known for its annual marathon to support breast cancer research.

Rutherford was Jacksonville’s sheriff before running for Congress.

The CD4 poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.3%.

Respondents were also asked their opinions regarding the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO), and race relations in Jacksonville.

According to the poll, a majority of Duval voters believe that the JSO can be trusted to do the right thing all or most of the time, at 65%, with 35% saying JSO can be trusted only sometimes or not at all. Trust in police has increased since June, when a UNF poll found 54% of respondents said JSO can be trusted, and 46% said it cannot.

UNF said the margin of error in the poll of Duval residents is plus or minus 4.2%.

Voters were also asked variety of other questions, including what voters view as the most important issues. Those questions and results, along with an explanation of the methodology used to assemble the poll can be viewed here.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.