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From crime to recycling, new UNF poll highlights Jacksonville's biggest priorities

The results show that crime is the No. 1 concern for people when it comes to problems facing Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Note: The video above is from a previous, unrelated story.)

From the race for Jacksonville's next sheriff to Shad Khan to curbside recycling, a new poll from the University of North Florida's Public Opinion Research Lab is taking the pulse of those living on the First Coast.

The newest poll of registered voters in Duval County was released Thursday. It included questions about the upcoming City Council Special Election, 2023 mayoral and sheriff races, approval ratings for elected officials and approval ratings for some big names from the Jaguars. Other questions included redistricting, recycling and building a new stadium.

The results show that crime is the No. 1 concern for people when it comes to problems facing Jacksonville. 

Crime topped the list with 35% of registered voters saying it was the most important issue to them

3% of those polled said COVID-19 was the most important, compared to 22% in June 2020.

"Outside of 2020 when COVID first came on the scene, crime has been the biggest issue for years now in Jacksonville and understandably so," Michael Binder said. He's the faculty director of The Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida

The same poll shows Sheriff Mike Williams with a 51% approval rating. Binder says he's received high marks throughout several polling cycles.

"Even though sometimes police departments in particular neighborhoods may not see eye to eye on every single issue, by and large Mike Williams has seen some pretty positive support over the years," he told First Coast News.

In the race for sheriff, 39% of those polled favor Lakesha Burton, putting her ahead of JSO Chief TK Waters in the race for sheriff (of the candidates who had declared at the time the poll was taken).

The poll also indicates we can expect a razor-thin margin in the race to fill a vacant city council seat, a race that is currently in the early voting process. Trayce Polson received 50.3% of the vote of those polled, with Nick Howland receiving 49.7%.

The race for mayor sees the lone Democrat Donna Deegan leading the field, with 41%. The three Republican candidates are led by Dan Davis, who pulled 20% of the vote. Leanna Cumber received 9%, and Al Ferraro received 7%.

When it comes to football, Jags owner Shad Khan's approval rating is underwater, with 48% of those polled disapproving of the job he's doing.

His quarterback, on the other hand, is still in the sunshine. Trevor Lawrence is enjoying a 56% approval among those polled.

And 65% of the people polled think it is important for Jacksonville to have an NFL franchise. 

One question that received the most unified response revolved around recycling. Eighty-three percent of people polled said it was important to get the curbside pickup program restarted.

The poll's full results can be viewed by scrolling down or by clicking here.

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