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Poll shows Duval voters oppose RNC coming to Jacksonville, worry about coronavirus impact

59% said they don’t support the convention in Jacksonville.

A majority of Duval voters do not want the Republican National Convention in their city this Summer, according to a new poll.

The RABA Research poll commissioned by Republican Voters Against Trump found 49% of those surveyed did not support Jacksonville hosting President Donald Trump’s nomination speech in August. Only 39% said they supported it.

Further, 57% said they were concerned the convention would spur a new COVID-19 outbreak while only 43% said they weren’t worried.

Given more information about the convention including both pros — that it will fill hotels and boost the economy — and cons — that it will cost the city millions, risk new infections and potentially put first responders at COVID-19 risk — 39% said they supported the convention with 52% opposing it.

“President Trump may be jonesing for adoring crowds, but as we saw this weekend in Tulsa, actual voters are not nearly as excited about attending risky, mass gatherings as Trump is,” said Sarah Longwell, Strategic Director of Republican Voters Against Trump. “These results demonstrate that even in a critical county that Trump won in 2016, voters would rather he stay away.”

The poll was conducted June 17 and 18, before Trump took the stage in Tulsa for his first major return to the campaign trail. The rally, which campaign officials touted getting more than 1 million RSVPs for, launched Saturday with six campaign staffers testing positive for COVID-19 and saw Trump take to the podium to a crowd of less than 7,000.

Jacksonville is set to host portions of the RNC later this summer after Trump complained its host city, Charlotte, North Carolina, refused to give assurances Trump could deliver his nomination speech before a packed crowd.

Both Gov. Ron DeSantis and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry have said Florida will welcome the event, but expressed some wavering on whether precautions would need to be made if the virus proves a threat.

The poll came during a drastic shift in coronavirus trends that saw new cases shattering old records almost daily, including in Jacksonville. Duval County added a record 264 cases Saturday.

The poll also suggested Trump’s support in the city is lacking. It put former Vice President Joe Biden eight points above Trump at 51% to 43% with rest undecided.

Biden’s support showed also in favorability ratings with Trump having a net favorable of 46% compared to Biden’s 50%. Trumps unfavorable rating was 50% compared to Biden’s 42%.

But Biden could be in trouble in the city if voter enthusiasm plays out at the voting booth. Of those who found him favorable, only 36% said he was “very” favorable, compared to Trump’s 41%.

It’s also worth noting the poll skewed to Demographics more likely to reject Trump. Of the 600 respondents, 42% were Democrats while only 36% were Republican. The poll also included 67% of respondents who reported as college-educated. Trump once famously said, “I love the poorly educated.”

The poll has a 4% margin of error.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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