- 2014 - February - 19th -

UNF poll: Mayor Alvin Brown’s approval rating dropped 11 percent but he still leads GOP contenders

By David Chapman, Staff Writer

Mayor Alvin Brown’s approval rating has taken a double-digit hit over the past year, according to a University of North Florida poll released this morning.

Asked if they approve or disapprove the way Brown is handling his job as mayor, 59 percent of the more than 442 registered voters polled said they either “strongly approve” or “somewhat approve.” That’s down from the 70 percent mark Brown received in a similar 2013 poll the university conducted.

The biggest drop was in the “strongly approve” category, which fell from 26 percent to 16 percent.

Twenty-two percent said they disapproved to some degree, while another 19 percent didn’t know or had no answer. Both results were up from the 2013 poll, too.

Brown favored better when residents were asked about one-on-one races with several potential Republican candidates for mayor.

• Sheriff John Rutherford was the closest to Brown but still fell short. Brown received 41 percent of the vote to Rutherford’s 35 percent.

• Property Appraiser Jim Overton was next, garnering 31 percent of the vote versus Brown’s 42 percent.

• Against City Council President Bill Gulliford, Brown received 43 percent of the vote compared to Gulliford’s 28 percent.

• Brown hypothetically defeated Republican Party of Florida Chair Lenny Curry the soundest with a 45 percent to 25 percent outcome.

The remaining votes either went to “someone else” or the responders had no answer or didn’t know.

Outside of Brown, who is seeking a second term, no other high-profile candidate has filed to run for the office in the 2015 election.

Brown and the possible mayor’s races weren’t the only items polled.

City Council’s approval rating dropped from 48 percent in the 2013 poll to 45 percent in the latest release.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office approval rating also dipped slightly, from 71 percent in 2013 to 66 percent now.

Of the 442 who were asked the questions from Feb. 10-17, 43 percent identified themselves as Democrats, 38 percent said Republican and the remaining 19 percent said other or no party affiliation. The majority polled were female, between the ages of 25-64, had some college experience and were white.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.37 percentage points.



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