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Kriseman takes lead in latest poll

By Charlie Frago
Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman (left) and former Mayor Rick Baker, during the Sept. 26 mayoral candidate forum at City Hall moderated by the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area. [CHERIE DIEZ | Times]

Mayor Rick Kriseman leads by nearly two percentage points in the latest poll taken over the weekend surveying the hard-fought mayoral contest between Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker.

Kriseman has a 47.5 to 45.6 percentage point margin over Baker in a survey of 939 registered voters who have either already cast a ballot or plan to do so, according to St. Pete Polls, which released the Nov. 4-5 poll early Monday.

Those who have already voted favor Baker by a tiny margin (48.5 to 47.6), but those who plan to show up on Tuesday to cast a ballot favor Kriseman by a 47-43 percentage point margin. Slightly more than 10 percent of likely Election Day voters remain undecided.

Kriseman leads among black voters, a crucial demographic in the close race, women and younger voters. The mayor also has a big lead among downtown residents—59 to 37 percent. Two-thirds of Democrats say they'll vote for a mayor who has touted his party affiliation and brought a string of high-profile Democrats to the Sunshine City to stump for him.

Baker captured 79 percent of Republican votes, men and narrow margins of voters in Midtown and the Northeast section of the city, although his margin in that affluent area has narrowed from previous polls. Baker did well among the oldest voters and those in the 30-49 age range.

St. Pete Polls made 939 automated calls to registered voters who either have voted or plan to vote on Nov. 7. The margin of error was 3.2 percent, which means Kriseman's slight lead falls within it.

The poll also asked respondents about three City Council rates on the ballot.

Gina Driscoll leads Justin Bean by a 45-32 percentage point margin in District 6 in a race to replace term-limited council member Karl Nurse.

City Council chairwoman Darden Rice leads Jerrick Johnston by a 58 to 23 percentage point margin in District 4.

In District 2, Brandi Gabbard holds a 47 to 29 percentage point lead over Barclay Harless in the race to succeed term-limited Jim Kennedy.