Voters overwhelmingly support stopping “The Lens”, final pre-election poll reveals

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For supporters of the effort to “Build The Pier”, next week’s vote on the future of “The Lens” is coming down to the issue of too little, too late.

Despite the best, albeit last-minute, intentions of an eager, optimistic group of “Lens” boosters, both early and likely voters overwhelmingly support cancelling the contract to build the project. 

According to the final pre-election survey conducted by St. Pete Polls and commissioned by this blog, 56% of voters are voting/will vote in favor of the ordinance to cancel the contract with Michael Maltzan to build the Lens Pier? Thirty-four percent say the will vote “No” to “build the Pier.” Just ten percent of voters remain undecided.

The survey measured the support of both early and likely voters. Early voters and likely voters were polled separately in this survey, and the subtotals for each sample are shown here in the summary. An early voter is someone who has returned their mail-in ballot as confirmed by the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections as of August 19. A likely voter is someone who has not returned a ballot, but has confirmed that they do intend to vote in the primary election.

Breaking down these numbers, we see that the “Stop the Lens” side is well ahead among early voters, winning 61% to 37% among those who have already returned their ballot.

The demographics of the early voters differ greatly from the demographics of the general registered voter population, as you can see in this chart.

For example, the mail-in ballot participation rate so far is much higher for people over 50 years old. Voters over 50 make up 48% of the registered voter population, but over 80% of the total number of voters that have turned in their mail-in ballots.

The numbers are closer among likely voters, but still favor the side seeking to stop “The Lens.” Among this cohort, 52% support cancelling the contract, while 31% do not. 

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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.