UNF poll: Economy No. 1 concern for Duval County residents

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A new University of North Florida poll reveals that 37 percent of adult residents of Duval County believe improving the economy and creating jobs should be Jacksonville's top priority this year.

One proposal that the county's residents support is to add sexual orientation to the existing list of groups protected from workplace discrimination (58 percent). Second to the economy, improving the quality of public education was the next most important issue that residents thought the city of Jacksonville should tackle, with 24 percent of people believing it to be a top priority.

According to the poll, Duval County residents aren't satisfied (56 percent) with the quality of public education in Jacksonville. In conjunction with these findings, they believe that increasing the budget for public education would improve the quality of education (55 percent), and they also support a small increase in property taxes, if those taxes go toward public education (64 percent).

Conversely, 43 percent of Duval County residents approve of the job that Nikolai Vitti, the new Duval County Superintendent, is doing and only 10 percent disapprove. As Vitti is new to the job, it's not surprising that 40 percent of the respondents didn't have an opinion of his performance, according to the poll.

Mayor Alvin Brown still retains high support in Duval County, with 70 percent of the population approving of his job performance, according to the poll.

The survey was conducted through the use of a 27-station telephone-polling laboratory at UNF. A polling sample was selected through the use of Random-Digit-Dialing methodology. A cellphone sample and an overlay sample were used to increase representation. Age, gender, race and party registration were weighted to the 2010 U.S. Census, as well as to statistics from the Supervisor of Elections for Duval County registered voters.

The survey was conducted between Feb. 4 and Tuesday, and includes 917 residents (+/- 3.23 percent) in Duval County. Approximately 210 UNF political science students participated in the data collection.

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