Here's the first round of post-primary polling in St. Pete's city council races - SaintPetersBlog

Here’s the first round of post-primary polling in St. Pete’s city council races

Now that the dust has settled from Tuesday’s citywide primary, the first round of post-election polling for the St. Petersburg City Council is out, courtesy of StPetePolls.org.

The survey asked 512 registered voters in St. Petersburgwhom they would prefer in the four City Council races on the ballot Nov. 5. We now see a first glimpse into where the candidates stand with voters.

City Council District 2

In the District 2 race between incumbent Jim Kennedy and Lorraine Margeson, Kennedy currently is leading with 35.1 percent compared to 23.8 percent for Margeson.

Margeson’s strongest performance is with black voters, who favor her by a single point — 31.2 percent to Kennedy’s 30.2 percent.

In that contest, over 41 percent of voters are undecided.

City Council District 4

Darden Rice leads Tuesday night’s second place upset winner Carolyn Fries by just over 10 points going into November’s District 4 race.  

Rice, a community activist and three-time candidate for elected office, starts her campaign with 37.5 percent of the vote overall, a solid (but not entirely overwhelming) lead over Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association President Fries, who is currently looking at 27.3 percent.

Fries’ best results are with Republicans, the only group favoring her (slightly) over her opponent, giving her just shy of a three-point advantage — 32.7 percent to 30.0 for Rice.

More than one-third of voters in the District 4 race — 35.2 percent — are undecided.

City Council District 6

After his victory in the primary, City Council chair Karl Nurse has posted a strong lead to start his run to keep the District 6 seat. Nurse sits at a comfortable 45.5 percent, compared to Sharon Russ, who has 22.7 percent.

Nurse received nearly 70 percent of votes in Tuesday’s primary for his district; Russ, who is an African-American Republican woman, will have her work cut out for her. Wednesday’s survey had black voters favoring Nurse by almost 11 points — 39.6 to Russ’ 28.1 percent. The incumbent also has a nearly 20-point lead with Republicans.

Fewer than 32 percent of District 6 voters are undecided.

City Council District 8

The early polling numbers for the District 8 competition between Amy Foster and Steve Galvin rest solidly in Foster’s favor. She had a strong showing in the primary, winning handily with more than half the vote. As Foster heads into the general election, she leads with 43.8 percent (the strongest lead for a non-incumbent) while Galvin’s base remains less than half that amount, at 19.9 percent.

Foster’s backing is stable across the board, posting her highest numbers with Democrats, Independents and voters aged 50 to 69. Republicans are the only group that Galvin has shown some slight headway — with the GOP he is less than 13 points behind Foster.  

More than one-third District 8 voters (36.3 percent) are undecided.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.
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