Nearly Half Of Jacksonville Residents Oppose Hosting RNC Amid Pandemic

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Even when presented with pros, like a boost to the economy, a majority of voters opposed the convention.

A recent poll of Duval County voters in Florida found that a plurality oppose moving the Republican National Convention to Jacksonville, the county seat, amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

  • According to Newsweek, a recent RABA Research poll found that “Nearly half of voters surveyed—49 percent—said they do not support the Republican National Convention being held in Jacksonville.”
  • Only 39 percent support the move, and 12 percent had no opinion.
  • The poll also found that 61 percent of voters were concerned the convention would spur a new coronavirus outbreak; 39 percent said they were not worried about a new outbreak in the community.

"President Trump may be jonesing for adoring crowds, but as we saw this weekend in Tulsa, actual voters are not nearly as excited about attending risky, mass-gatherings as Trump is," Sarah Longwell, strategic director of Republican Voters Against Trump, said in a statement. "These results demonstrate that even in a critical county that Trump won in 2016, voters would rather he stay away."

  • The RNC initially was planned to take place in Charlotte, but North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper refused to forgo social distancing measures for the event, Newsweek noted.
  • Delegates will still meet in Charlotte for the official nominating process, but “Trump and thousands of Republicans will pack into an arena in a state crucial for the president's re-election hopes as he officially accepts the GOP nomination.”

The poll conducted by RABA occurred from June 17-18 among 600 voters in Duval County. Of the voters, 42 percent said they identified as a Democrat, 36 percent as Republican and 22 percent as "something else." Fifty-seven percent were women and 43 percent male. The majority—55 percent—were white, while 30 percent were Black, 7 percent Hispanic, 2 percent Asian and 6 percent were "other."

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