A clear majority of voters in Jacksonville, Florida don’t want the Republican National Convention to be held in their town. Concerns about the Coronavirus pandemic appear to be a factor.
A University of North Florida poll found that 58% of Jacksonville voters don’t want the convention in the city, though this varies widely by partisan affiliation.
Democrats disapprove of hosting the RNC by the widest margin with 90% opposed, while just 19% of Republicans are against it. The convention will feature President Donald Trump’s major reelection speech.
Interestingly, 62% of independents oppose holding the convention in Jacksonville – this could be another indication of the President’s difficulties with independent voters.
The University of North Florida, which conducted the poll, is home to the Public Opinion Research Laboratory. Its director, Michael Binder, called the poll results “concerning.”
“National nominating conventions are polarizing events, and unsurprisingly the levels of support for Jacksonville hosting the RNC varies dramatically by partisanship,” Binder said.
“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.”
The Republican National Committee has already had to move the convention once. They originally planned to hold it in Charlotte, North Carolina but moved the location following objections from Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media