Who voted? A look at Tuesday’s election turnout in Duval County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Taking a closer look at Tuesday’s election results – which saw more voters show up than in the March election -- it wasn’t just how many turned out but who those voters were.

The bottom line when it comes to the Jacksonville election — more Republicans voted than Democrats – but the Democratic candidate won.

By now you know former TV anchor and non-profit founder, Donna Deegan, defeated former state legislator and Chamber of Commerce President, Daniel Davis.

In the race for property appraiser, Joyce Morgan squeaked out a narrow win over the Governor DeSantis endorsed Republican, Jason Fischer, a former state lawmaker.

Turnout data shows Republican voters outnumbered Democratic voters by just over 7,000, but a sizable chunk of no-party affiliation voters, more than 25,000, were in the mix as well.

In all, a third of registered Jacksonville voters cast a ballot in this runoff. News4JAX Political Analyst and head of Jacksonville University’s Public Policy Institute, Rick Mullaney, said this was a high-energy race with a lot of attention.

“I do think it was the result of the energy of the campaigns,” Mullaney said. “The stakes are very high, but there’s also the turnout, the vote effort of those main campaigns.”

Mullaney also points to the fact you had city council races on the ballot, as helping drive interest. Some of the highest turn-out areas of the city, including Ortega and parts of Mandarin, saw more than half of registered voters casting a ballot. Those neighborhoods specifically went for Davis.

Overall, across the city, Deegan’s name was selected on just over 9,000 more ballots than Davis’, making her Jacksonville’s first woman mayor-elect.

She’ll be the ninth person to hold the office since the city and county’s 1968 consolidation. Experts have pointed to the difference in tone between the two mayoral campaigns as a definitive factor in how voters ultimately decided.

“In general, the Deegan campaign remained very energetic and very positive, and played to a broader audience,” Mullaney said. “And the Davis campaign played more to a base and was very much on the negative side.”

Mullaney said Deegan ultimately courted both sides, Democrats and Republicans, pushing unity in the city, an optimistic message that voters ultimately chose.

While Deegan’s winning margin may seem close, 52% to 48%, it was a wider gap than the last two head-to-head matchups for Jacksonville Mayor in 2015 and 2011.