If you’re an incumbent officeholder, whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, you’re likely doing well with Duval County voters if they’ve heard of you.
That’s one takeaway from the latest polling of registered voters from the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab, which canvassed them between May 11 and May 16 by email.
President Joe Biden, the first Democrat to carry Duval County since Jimmy Carter in 1976, was barely in positive territory, with 48% approval and 46% disapproval among 1,246 respondents.
One warning sign: Biden is underwater with independent voters, with 39% approving of the President and 45% disapproving.
Gov. Ron DeSantis couldn’t carry Duval against Andrew Gillum, but he’s above water with voters today. Half of the 1,250 registered voters approve of him, including 55% of voters with no party affiliation. That bodes well for DeSantis’ 2022 reelection hopes.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who appears to be close to launching a formal campaign for DeSantis’ job, is popular among those who know who she is, with 37% approval against 17% disapproval among 1,239 respondents. She is even above water among Republicans, with 32% approval and 23% disapproval. Nearly half of voters have never heard of her, however, even after nearly 30 months in office.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Sheriff Mike Williams, known commodities as they approach the last two years of their respective administrations, are both above water as well.
Curry has 48% approval against 43% disapproval, with that latter number propped up by a stubbornly high 30% disapproval among Republicans. However, 64% of NPA voters approve of Curry, a seeming testament to the independence of his political brand.
Williams, who theoretically could run for another office in an upcoming election cycle, is at 50% approval and 30% disapproval. Meanwhile, 63% of NPAs like him.
It was a great poll for almost everyone. Respondents liked executive leaders from across the spectrum from the center-right to the center-left, but were sour on the Jacksonville City Council. Just 34% of respondents approve of the legislative body, and 43% disapprove.