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Underwater: Lenny Curry struggles in poll of Duval voters

GOP Mayor faced no Democratic opponent in 2019.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, inaugurated as mayor five years ago this July, is not popular with the electorate.

That’s the takeaway from a poll of over 2,500 registered voters released Wednesday by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Laboratory.

Curry, who rode high in polls for the bulk of his first term, was considered so politically impregnable that no Democrat challenged his reelection in 2019, leaving two rogue Republicans to challenge the Mayor and his political machine.

In his second and final term, Curry is underwater with voters, with just 44% approval versus 49% disapproval.

The Mayor is on even ground with NPA voters, with 44% approving of the Mayor and 44% disapproving.

It’s the party splits that give Curry trouble, after a rocky 12 months that saw Curry use his political capital to, among other things, support a sale push for the local utility and stand in the way of a tax referendum to address system-wide capital deterioration and decrepitude in Duval County Public Schools.

With Democrats, the former Republican Party of Florida chairman would be expected to underperform, and here he does, with an anemic 25% approval against 71% disapproval.

The Mayor doesn’t make up enough ground with his own party, however.

Having faced challenges from both the right and the left of the party in 2019, Curry has since gone against his initial social conservative messaging, signing an LGBT rights bill and vowing to remove Confederate monuments.

These apostasies seem to have soured some Republicans against him.

Just 70% of Republicans surveyed approve of Curry, with a full 25% disapproving.

The Mayor is below 50% approval with both genders, with both college graduates and those without degrees, and with White and Black voters alike.

Hispanic voters, at 51% support, are the Mayor’s strongest demographic constituency, according to this poll.

The survey assumes a +6 universe for Democrats, who comprised 42% of those surveyed. Of the remaining respondents, 36% were Republicans and the balance were of no party affiliation.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.
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