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58 percent of Jacksonville voters oppose RNC convention: poll

Most voters in Jacksonville, Fla., do not want the Republican National Convention to be held in their city, according to a University of North Florida poll.

The poll found that 58 percent of voters surveyed in Jacksonville oppose holding the convention in the city and 42 percent said they support the move. Of those surveyed, 71 percent said they were concerned about the spread of the coronavirus and 65 percent said they worried about “social unrest” if the convention is held in the city.

When broken down by party, the survey found 19 percent of Republicans oppose hosting the party’s keynote convention events in Jacksonville, while about 90 percent of Democrats are opposed to the convention. Sixty-two percent of independents said they opposed having the convention in the city.

The Republican National Committee announced earlier this month that they were moving the convention to Jacksonville from Charlotte, N.C., after receiving pushback from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) on social distancing measures and the number of people that would be allowed to attend events.

“National nominating conventions are polarizing events, and unsurprisingly the levels of support for Jacksonville hosting the RNC varies dramatically by partisanship,” Michael Binder, director of the Public Opinion Research Lab, said in a statement. “Under the backdrop of a global pandemic that appears to have come more fervently to Florida, the opposition to this event being hosted locally seems much more concerning.” 

President Trump held his first in-person rally since the start of the pandemic in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday, amid much lower turnout than his campaign anticipated. Most attendees at the rally appeared to not be wearing any face protection.

Hours before the rally in Tulsa, six Trump campaign staffers tested positive for the coronavirus. In another round of testing after the rally, two more tested positive. 

The University of North Florida poll also found that 61 percent of voters in Jacksonville disapprove of Trump and 50 percent disapprove of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), one of Trump’s top allies.

When asked who they would vote for in the presidential election, 48 percent of Jacksonville voters polled said former Vice President Joe Biden (D) and 41 percent said they would vote to reelect Trump.

The poll surveyed 2,524 registered voters in Duval County, Fla. by email between June 17-22. The survey reported a margin of error of plus or minus 1.95 percentage points.

— Updated at 12:00 p.m.

Tags 2020 presidential race Charlotte Coronavirus Donald Trump Florida jacksonville Joe Biden North Carolina Polling Republican National Committee Republican National Convention Ron DeSantis

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