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Jacksonville mayor's race is a dead heat, poll shows

Daniel Davis and Donna Deegan.
Will Brown
Jacksonville Today
Daniel Davis and Donna Deegan.

The race for Jacksonville mayor is virtually a dead heat just a month before Election Day, a new poll from the University of North Florida shows.

Democrat Donna Deegan holds a 1 point edge over Republican Daniel Davis — 48% to 47%, the poll shows. But 5% of voters in the poll are undecided, and the poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points.

“We’re looking at another razor-thin race that will undoubtedly come down to turnout,” Michal Binder, director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF, said in a news release Monday.

OPINION: What Donna Deegan must do in Thursday's debate.

Deegan and Davis will square off in a debate Thursday hosted by UNF and Action News Jax. “Both candidates will have a chance to address the issues important to voters ... and it’ll be important for each of them to energize their bases to get to the polls in May,” Binder said.

The UNF poll surveyed 650 likely voters in Duval County by phone on April 10-11. A poll last week by Frederick Polls showed Deegan with a larger lead on Davis — 54% to 46%.

Deegan captured 39% of the vote in the election March 21. Davis finished with 25%, and both advanced to the general election May 16.

The UNF poll also showed:

  • Republican Jason Fischer leading Democrat Joyce Morgan by 47% to 45% in the race for Duval County property appraiser. Nine percent of respondents said they don't know or declined to answer.
  • Republican Chris Miller with 45% of the vote for City Council At-large Group 5, compared with 38% for Democrat Charles Garrison. Seventeen percent said they don't know or declined to answer.

Respondents also were asked what they consider Jacksonville's biggest problem. Forty-seven percent of respondents identified crime. In a distant second were housing costs with 8% and education with 7%.

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where, as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. You can reach Randy at or on Twitter, @rroguski.