A new poll released by the Public Opinion Research Laboratory at the University of North Florida commissioned by News4Jax found former Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford with a commanding lead in the Republican race for the congressional seat representing Nassau and most of Duval and St. Johns counties.The poll of most likely Republican voters finds 30.8 percent would vote for Rutherford, with Hans Tanzler in second place with 12.7 percent, and state Rep. Lake Ray in third place with 9.5 percent. St. Johns Commissioner Bill McClure holds fourth place with 4.7 percent, Ed Malin earned 2.5 percent, Stephen Kaufman 1.5 percent and Deborah Katz Pueschel 0.7 percent.
UNF faculty director Dr. Michael Binder said:
There is very little change from the poll last month, and there is still a great deal of uncertainty in this primary. Nassau and St. Johns counties have almost 10 percentage points higher of ‘don’t know’ responses, which is not surprising since six of the seven candidates have roots in Duval County.
The number of undecided voters surveyed remained high at 37.7 percent, although 9 points lower than it was in the previous UNF poll conducted in June.
Thirty-seven percent — that’s a huge chunk of the election. I think it said there were folks who haven’t tuned in yet or haven’t quite paid attention to make up their mind. And it’s not surprising, but it’s a lot of people. It makes you wonder what these folks are thinking about when they ultimately do decide to vote.