Poll: ‘Modest lead’ for T.K. Waters in Jacksonville Sheriff’s race
Lakesha Burton and TK Waters will not be facing a rematch in 2023.

Waters Burton SBS
“This race has gotten a lot tighter since the first election."

Fresh polling of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s race shows Republican T.K. Waters just ahead of Democrat Lakesha Burton.

A survey released Monday by the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Laboratory shows Waters with 48% support, five points ahead of Burton.

If the polling is accurate, Waters is still under 50%, despite getting 47% in the August First Election. Burton finished with 33% support, so she appears to be gaining.

“This race has gotten a lot tighter since the first election back in August when T.K. Waters came in with a 14-point lead,” commented Dr. Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and UNF professor of political science.

“It’s important to note that a good portion (12%) of likely Democrat voters either don’t know or refused to say who they’re voting for, and if they end up voting party lines, it could boost Burton’s chances,” Binder added.

Waters is consolidating Republicans in this survey in a way Burton has yet to manage with Democrats. Nine out of ten of the 221 Republicans polled are with Waters, while just 77% of the 238 Democrats polled lean Burton. No Party Affiliation voters back Burton, 49% to 39%, though only 72 of them were polled.

The gender gap is also going Waters’ way in this poll, with a full 55% of men saying they back the Republican, against just 37% for Burton. Burton does have a five point edge with female voters, 48% to 43%, despite Republican women such as Molly Curry endorsing the Democratic candidate.

White voters are also with Waters, 66% to 27%, while 75% of Black voters back Burton. Waters also is ahead by at least fifteen points with voters aged 45-54, 55-64, and 65 years and older.

Waters has enjoyed a resource advantage going into the final days of the campaign.

Waters has been spending heavily. His A Safer Jacksonville for All political committee spent more than a million dollars between Oct. 7 and Oct. 21, roughly half of the $1.6 million it raised. The account still had more than $120,000 on hand at last check.

Waters also had roughly $200,000 in his campaign account.

Burton had roughly $70,000 in her political committee account as of Oct. 28, and a little more than $110,000 to spend in her campaign account.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski



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