JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Dona Deegan continues to hold the lead in the Jacksonville mayor’s race.
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That’s according to a new poll released by UNF Tuesday.
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The crowded field seems to be closing in around two candidates, but the race isn’t over by any stretch. The findings in this UNF poll are remarkably similar to statistics released in a poll from St. Pete Polls a little less than two weeks ago.
Both show Democrat Denna Deegan and Republican Daniel Davis leading the pack.
Deegan grabbed 17 percent more support than Davis.
“If you would have asked anybody this question six months, eight months ago, they would have told you that you could bet on Davis and a Deegan runoff, and I don’t know that that’s changed,” UNF political science professor Dr. Michael Binder said.
Binder said the other candidates aren’t necessarily down and out, but he anticipates the frontrunners may begin to shift their focus onto each other.
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In a head-to-head the poll shows Deegan with a nine point lead over Davis, with 12 percent of voters undecided.
“The types of advertisements that we’ve seen targeted toward LeAnna Cumber and Al Ferraro are now going to be targeted toward Donna Deegan,” Binder said.
We asked Deegan how she plans to respond should the Davis camp shift its focus of attack on her.
She said she won’t engage in personal attacks.
“That doesn’t mean I’m not gonna speak truth to power. I will draw the contrasts where they need to be draw, but at the end of the day that’s where it ends for me,” Deegan said.
The Davis campaign didn’t respond to our request for comment on the poll, but last week during a candidate panel, Davis commented on the previous poll that showed him and Deegan in similar positions.
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“A poll today doesn’t really mean what a poll is going to be at the end of the day. We feel confident our pathway to victory is very wide and we’re looking forward to that opportunity,” Davis said last Wednesday.
Election Day is Mar. 21.
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The top two candidates will advance to the May runoff, so long as one candidate doesn’t pull more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round.