Poll shows Bill Foster in deep trouble, trails Kathleen Ford & Rick Kriseman heads-up; black voters fleeing from incumbent

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A second term for St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster has never been in as much jeopardy as it is currently, according to the latest survey from St. Pete Polls commissioned by this blog.

While Foster is essentially tied with Kathleen Ford and well ahead of Rick Kriseman in a ballot test of all of the announced candidates, both Ford and Kriseman would handily beat the incumbent in a run-off. 

With Anthony Cates and Paul Congemi in the mix, Ford and Foster both pull 29% of the vote, while Kriseman draws 18%. Nineteen percent of voters say they are undecided.

Yet, when voters are asked who they would vote for if the race were between just Ford and Foster, Ford receives 48% of support, while Foster pulls just 37%. 

In a heads-up match between Foster and Kriseman, the mayor trails the challenger 43% to 37%.

Ford would beat Kriseman 45% to 29% in a run-off.

Handicapping Foster is an upside-down favorability rating of 39% favorable/46% favorable. Ford is buoyed by a 45%/31% favorable/unfavorable rating. Kriseman is still largely unknown with 48% of voters unsure, 33% favorable and 19% unfavorable.

In addition to these city-wide numbers, St. Petersburg black community was also polled. The results are eye-opening; for Bill Foster, they are devastating.

Among black voters, Ford is at 38%, Foster is at 21%, while Kriseman is just at 9%, just ahead of Anthony Cates at 5%. Twenty-six percent of black voters said they were undecided. 

Here is perhaps the most shocking number for Foster, who prides himself on his connection to the black community and in 2009 said he wanted to be the city’s first black mayor. In a match-up against just Ford, Foster trails 53% to 27%. 

Forty-nine percent of black voters have an unfavorable opinion of Foster.

The poll was conducted by an automated phone call polling system. The results were then weighted to account for proportional differences between the respondents’ demographics and the demographics of the registered voter population in St. Petersburg. The demographics used were: party, race and age.

The voters polled were chosen at random within the registered voter population inside of the City of St. Petersburg. There were two different samples used for this poll. The first sample includes a proportional sample of all city voters. The second sample includes only Black, non-Hispanic city voters.

The scientific results shown in the summaries below have their sample size and margin of error shown at the top of each sample section. All Margin of Errors are at a 95% confidence level.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.