Whatever public grousing there might have been from Jacksonville politicians about Mayor Lenny Curry‘s pension reform, it will be stifled after a dispositive internal poll from Curry’s political committee.
The big number: 71 percent.
That represents the number of Duval County residents who support Curry’s plan to close the old “dinosaur” defined benefit pension plans that have bled the city’s general fund dry.
The small number: 20 percent.
That would represent opponents to Curry’s pension reform.
Beyond pension reform, Curry’s own personal popularity is at 70 percent: 80 percent among Republicans, and 60 percent with Democrats and independent voters.
Proving that a rising tide lifts all boats, 58 percent of those polled believe Jacksonville is on the right track, and 51 percent approve of the job being done by the Jacksonville City Council.
However, nearly half of the 404 voters polled via live phone call would consider voting against a council member who stood opposed to pension reform.
Curry has, methodically and without apology, built a political machine.
This polling is evidence of what happens when a politician brings a reformist mindset and a finely-honed political machine into a place that functioned as a backwater for far too long.
These numbers also provide an exclamation point on a year and a half of pension reform messaging, and make the explicit case that Curry should be taken seriously as a statewide candidate in future election cycles.