With months to go before the Nov. 6 general election, it appears that two incumbent Pinellas County commissioners could face a hard time keeping their seats, according to results of a poll released Monday.
Commissioner Charlie Justice (44 percent) holds an eight percentage point lead over Republican challenger Mike Mikurak (36 percent). But about a fifth of voters are undecided and could certainly sway the outcome of the election for the District 3 seat.
The poll results are more disturbing for Justice’s fellow Commissioner Janet Long, who drew an opponent last week in political newcomer Martin Hughes for the at-large District 1 seat.
The poll didn’t ask about the Long versus Hughes race. Instead, it asked respondents whether they feel favorably or unfavorably toward Long. Most – about 57 percent – were undecided and those who took a stance fell evenly between looking on her favorably (about 21 percent) or unfavorably (about 22 percent).
The news wasn’t much better when it came to party affiliation. About 55 percent of her fellow Democrats were undecided whether they view Long favorably or unfavorably. That’s only two percentage points less than the 57 percent of Republicans who were undecided.
However, more Democrats (about 27 percent) view Long favorably than do Republicans (about 16 percent).
The difficulties Democrats appear to be facing in Pinellas were echoed on the national stage. The two presumptive presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, are running neck and neck in the county. Each would receive about 43 percent of the vote in Pinellas with about 13 percent of voters saying they’re undecided.
Pinellas voters are much definite about where they stand when it comes to legalizing medical marijuana. A landslide 58 percent say they plan to vote in favor of legalization with about 33 percent opposed and about 9 percent unsure how they’ll vote.
The poll, by St. Pete Polls, was conducted Sunday of 758 likely Florida voters in Pinellas County using lists of registered voters as of May 3 supplied by the state of Florida.