Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New poll shows Kriseman within striking range of Bill Foster

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Rick Baker
  • Rick Baker
A new poll shows incumbent Bill Foster holding a four-point lead (38-34 percent) over his only major declared challenger at this point in his bid for re-election, former City Councilman and State Rep. Rick Kriseman.

That result has to be encouraging for Kriseman, who told me last week that he has an uphill battle in re-introducing himself to voters — it's been more than six years since he ran city-wide in St. Petersburg, not to mention that some folks are just realizing there is an election later this year.

The poll is from the folks at St.Pete Polls.org — whose results were fairly on target last fall when it came to local elections in Pinellas County — and was commissioned by St.Pete blogger Peter Schorsch.

Other highlights from the survey include whether the community would welcome Rick Baker if he made another run for office. The results are mixed for the man who served in office from 2001-2009 and recently stepped down from his job at USF to work for multimillionaire businessman Bill Edwards.

Fourty-four percent of those surveyed would welcome Baker back, while 42 percent said they'd prefer he not enter the race. But the poll shows that Baker is far more popular than fellow Republican Bill Foster. In a straight up race between the two, 40.1 percent favor Baker, and 22.5 percent support Foster. However 37.4 percent (mostly Democrats one would presume) said they would support another candidate.

(Side note: Baker has made no indications that he's interested in running.)

A major name that continues to float through St. Pete's political circles is former City Councilwoman Kathleen Ford — the woman who came in second for mayor in 2001 and 2009. But when voters were asked if they would welcome her back in the race, the numbers were not in her favor. Thirty-nine percent said they do not want Ford to run in 2013, while 34 percent said they do.

The poll also surveyed voters about the sexiest City Council race on paper at this early juncture — the District 4 race between Democrat Darden Rice and Republican/Tea Party candidate Dr. David McKalip. Half of the people polled said they have no preference between the two at this time. Among those who did choose a candidate, Rice has a 29-21 percentage point advantage.

The survey was taken Monday, Feb. 18, polling 690 people in St. Pete, with a margin of error of 3.7 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

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