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UNF poll of Jax Mayor’s Race: Alvin Brown 37%, Lenny Curry 25%

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With early voting in Jacksonville less than a week away, a new poll out today from UNF’s Public Opinion Research Laboratory finds incumbent Mayor Alvin Brown leading the race with support from 37 percent of voters.

Lenny Curry holds 25 percent of the vote, Bill Bishop 11 percent, and Omega Allen 2 percent. The rest of those polled — a quarter of the electorate — are still undecided, just four days before ballots begin to be cast.

“Such high levels of uncertainty provide opportunities for each of the candidates to increase their vote share,” reads a news release from the polling operation, run by political science professor Mike Binder.

Brown’s job approval rating is 55 percent. Of the 546 likely voters polled, 44 percent think Brown is a strong leader and 41 percent don’t think he is a strong leader, with 15 percent unsure or unwilling to answer.

Twenty-three percent rate Curry as a strong leader, but 62 percent say they don’t know. And when respondents were asked to place Brown, Curry and Bishop on a five-point ideological spectrum, the results further highlight the awareness gap between the incumbent and the challengers, according to Binder.

Forty-three percent of respondents classified Brown as liberal, while only 14 percent didn’t know or refused to place him on the five-point scale.

On the other hand, 38 percent of respondents considered Curry conservative, but 49 percent of likely voters were unable or unwilling to place him on the ideological scale.

Thirteen percent of voters consider Bishop a moderate, while 66 percent were unsure.

As to the local sheriff’s race:  the UNF poll shows Ken Jefferson is leading the pack with 24 percent; Mike Williams, 16 percent; Jimmy Holderfield, 10 percent; Jay Farhat, 7 percent; Tony Cummings, 4 percent; Rob Schoonover, 4 percent; Lonnie McDonald, 2 percent; and 34 percent didn’t know or refused to answer.

“With so many undecided, this race is completely up in the air,” says Binder.

The Public Opinion Research Laboratory, through the use of a 27-station telephone-polling laboratory at UNF, conducted the survey.

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at

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