A new University of North Florida poll reveals a tie in a voting matchup between presidential candidates President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, while locally Jacksonville voters support the continuation of the St. Johns River ferry and have a high approval rating of Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan.
"As approval ratings go up, they run the risk, you know of bad timing, maybe even a scandal. Anything can happen and they can plummet," says assistant professor of political science Michael Binder.
The survey was conducted through the use of Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing at a 27-station polling laboratory at UNF. A sample of the polling universe was selected through the use of Random-Digit-Dialing methodology. An additional cell phone sample is used to increase representation as well as an overlay sample. Age is weighted to statistics from the Supervisor of Elections for Duval County registered voters.
The survey was conducted between March 27 and April 3 and includes 709 Duval County registered voters. Margin of error for the entire sample is +/- 3.59 percent. Approximately 180 UNF political science students participated in the data collection.
Among the national/state findings:
--In a matchup between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, each candidate receives 43 percent in the poll results. Obama is beating Rick Santorum 48 to 39 percent respectively in a potential matchup.
--President Obama has a 48 percent approval rating in Jacksonville, up from 41 percent in March.
--More than 69 percent of respondents said the economy/jobs was the most important issue facing the nation today.
--Gov. Rick Scott has a 48 percent approval rating in Jacksonville, up from 41 percent in March.
--U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson leads congressman Connie Mack in a hypothetical race for senator 34 percent to 32 percent respectively, with the rest undecided or choosing someone else.
--Nelson has a strong lead—approximately 25 percent—among other potential Republican candidates, including George LeMieux and Mike McCalister.
--Only 33 percent of registered Jacksonville voters support the Tea Party political movement and only 24 percent of respondents support the Occupy Wall street movement.
--Among local findings:
--Mayor Alvin Brown has an approval rating of 75 percent, up from 63 percent in November 2011.
--The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has an approval rating of 72 percent.
--Registered voters have a 78 percent job approval rating of new Jaguars owner Shahid Khan.
--Seventy-seven percent of respondents support the continuation of the St. Johns River ferry but don’t have a clear preference on how to pay for it.
--When asked if registered voters are “fearful” of becoming a crime victim, 49 percent responded that they were, while 50 percent are not fearful of becoming a victim of crime.