The results of an exclusive Mason-Dixon poll conducted by 16 WAPT-TV News show Jackson voters believe crime is the most pressing issue the city faces.
When asked which issues would most influence their vote in the mayoral election, a majority of voters, 43 percent, said crime and public safety.
Sixteen percent said education was a top priority and 10 percent said jobs.
Mayor Harvey Johnson and his opponent, Frank Melton, reacted to the poll results showing crime a top concern of voters.
“I’m not surprised by that at all. But in terms of addressing crime and probably doing it at a clip, that’s in line with the rest of the country,” said Johnson.
“For too long we have lived here and people are not working together. We have great police and sheriff and I want to make sure they work together,” said Melton.
Even though overall crime statistics are on the decline in Jackson, the poll showed that voters remain concerned about public safety.
“Crime is the most important theme right now,” said Jackson resident Flora McGee.
“Every day, I hear about somebody getting raped and broken into their house,” said Jackson resident Angela Wade.
Likely voters put other issues such as neighborhood revitalization, transportation, taxes and downtown development lower on the list of important issues.
The poll questioned about 500 likely Jackson voters.