Poll finds narrow support for Confederate monuments

Most respondents say crime is the most important issue facing Jacksonville.

The Tribute to the Women of the Confederacy monument in Springfield Park was dedicated in 1915.
The Tribute to the Women of the Confederacy monument in Springfield Park was dedicated in 1915.
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The most important issue facing Duval County is crime and residents are divided on removing the city’s Confederate monuments and the job performance of Mayor Lenny Curry, according to a University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab poll released Feb. 28.

At 37%, crime led responses to the question of what is the most important problem facing Jacksonville, followed by education, the economy and housing costs, each with 12%. 

Those concerns were followed by race relations, 8%; improving the Downtown area, 6%; and improving transportation and infrastructure, 4%.

When asked about removing all Confederate monuments from public spaces, 51% said they oppose the removal, either strongly or somewhat, with 45% strongly or somewhat supporting removal.

“This issue continues to be a contentious one for Jacksonville voters, and you can really see where it splits when you break this down by race and ethnicity as well as party registration,” said Michael Binder, director of the Public Opinion Research Lab, in a news release. 

“As you might expect, support for removing the monuments is higher among registered Democrats and Black respondents, while Republicans and white respondents have greater opposition,”

Respondents were also asked about the prospect of Jacksonville hosting the 2028 Republican National Convention. Of those polled, 58%, said they support hosting the RNC, either strongly or somewhat, with 35% opposed.

“Unsurprisingly, support is higher among registered Republicans at 87%, but it is worth noting that 28% of registered Democrats are also on board,” Binder said.

Asked about the performance of the city’s elected officials, 52% said they strongly approve or somewhat approve of the job Mayor Lenny Curry is doing.

He fared better than the City Council, which found 45% strongly or somewhat approving of the way it is handling its job.

State Attorney for Florida’s 4th Judicial Circuit Melissa Nelson found 51% strongly or somewhat approving the way she is doing her job.

The poll of 593 registered, likely Duval County voters was conducted via telephone Feb. 20-24. The polling group comprised 292 Democrats, 239 Republicans and 62 nonparty or other. It has an error margin of +/- 4%.