Poll shows Baker beating Kriseman in St. Pete mayoral race
ST. PETERSBURG — A new poll shows former mayor Rick Baker besting incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman in next year's election.
Baker leads Kriseman by a 44-35 percentage point margin of 1,110 registered voters in the city conducted by automated phone calls on Dec. 12.
The poll was conducted by St. Pete Polls, and first reported by SaintPetersblog early Tuesday.
Of course, Baker, a Republican, hasn't announced his intention to run. Recently, speculation has focused on Baker's possible run for governor in 2018. Baker, 60, who was mayor between 2001 and 2009, didn't immediately return a phone call requesting comment.
Kriseman, 54, declined comment through a spokesman.
The two prominent politicians have jousted in recent months over their respective roles in the city's ongoing sewer crisis.
Some notable results: Baker beats Kriseman among black voters by a 43-32 percentage point margin. Baker also edges the mayor among millenial voters between 18 and 29 years old by a 35-32 percentage point margin.
Kriseman, a Democrat, fares better against other possible contenders in the November 2017 mayoral contest, although several have ruled out a race against Kriseman in Nov. 2017.
Kriseman handily wins over council members Karl Nurse, Amy Foster and Steve Kornell, although Nurse and Foster have ruled out running. And the mayor beats Republican state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R.-St. Petersburg, who has also said he won't run for mayor of St. Petersburg.
Kriseman had a job approval rating of 45 percent with 37 percent disapproving of his performance. Eighteen percent were unsure.
In June, a similar polll by St. Pete Polls showed Kriseman and Baker virtually tied. Kriseman had a 49 percent approval rating in that survey.
St, Pete Polls president Matt Florell told the Tampa Bay Times the most recent poll was privately commissioned by someone who allowed it to be released publicly. Florell declined to name his client.
"We keep our clients confidential unless they want us to disclose their identity," Florell said.
The poll had a margin of error of 3 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.