A new poll released Tuesday —the day that mail ballots go out for St. Petersburg’s municipal election— shows little change in a an extremely close mayor’s race.

St. Pete Polls released the survey of 1,021 registered voters conducted by automated calls on Oct. 2, hours after the poll had been completed.

The results show Mayor Rick Kriseman, who won the Aug. 29 primary by 70 votes, still in a dead heat with former mayor Rick Baker.  Baker leads 46 percent to 45.3 percent, well within the poll’s 3.1 percent margin of error.

Baker led in every St. Pete Poll survey leading up to the primary.

The poll shows Baker winning younger voters (age 18-29) and voters over 70, but Kriseman performing strongly among voters between 30 and 49, besting Baker by 10 percentage points.

Kriseman also leads among black voters, considered a crucial pool of voters for either candidate’s path to victory. Kriseman has 45. 5 percent to Baker’s 37.8 percent. The poll shows 16.7 percent of black voters to be undecided.

Male voters favor Kriseman by a 48-43 percent margin. Women back Baker by the same percentage, the poll shows.

In the City Council races, District 2 candidate Brandi Gabbard leads Barclay Harless by a 34.6 to 16. 6 percentage point margin with 48.8 percent of voters undecided in the race to replace term-limited council member Jim Kennedy.

In District 4, incumbent council chairwoman Darden Rice leads political novice, Jerick Johnston by a 46.8 to 20.2 percent margin with 33 percent of voters undecided.

The race to replace term-limited council member Karl Nurse in District 6 has Gina Driscoll leading Justin Bean by a 30 to 19.9 percentage point margin with more than 50 percent of voters undecided.

Council member Amy Foster did not draw an opponent in District 8.

Just under 9 percent of voters remain undecided in the mayor’s race with the largest percentage– 18.1 percent— in Midtown, in which Baker holds a slim lead. Kriseman is winning in downtown and southern neighborhoods outside of Midtown while Baker is leading in the northeastern sections of the city.  The two Ricks are tied in west St. Petersburg, where Kriseman lives.

The poll wasn’t comissioned by anyone. 

The Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections will mail more than 64,000 ballots to voters today. The election is Nov. 7.


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