Approval ratings continue to fall for St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster, but he still leads possible challengers

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For the first time since taking office, more Saint Petersburg voters have a negative opinion of Mayor Bill Foster than those who approve of his job performance.

Fifty-two percent of St. Pete voters disapprove of Foster’s job performance, according to a new survey from St. Pete Polls. Foster’s approval rating has steadily declined over the last four months. In December, he was at 54%, now he is at just 48%.   

Most political scientists believe that once an incumbent dips below the 50% approve threshold, they are in danger of being turned out of office.

Still, Foster leads a hypothetical match-up in this year’s race mayoral election. Pitted against Leslie Curran, Jeff Danner and Rick Kriseman, Foster pulls a full 30% of the vote. In second, perhaps surprisingly, is City Councilwoman Leslie Curran at 18%. I say that’s a surprise because she is ahead of the only legitimate announced candidate, former State Representative Rick Kriseman, who comes in with 16%. Danner is in fourth place at less than 6%, thereby dashing the hopes of consultant Gregory Wilson that Danner is a legitimate mayoral contender.

31% of St. Pete voters said they are undecided as for whom they will vote.

This latest poll should be another cause for concern in Kriseman’s camp. One would think with both Foster and Curran in the mix, but not Kathleen Ford, Kriseman should be able to be in at least second, as Foster and Curran split the northeast St. Pete vote. This poll suggests that Curran has enough support throughout the city that she could finish ahead of Kriseman in the primary and then have Foster one-on-one in the general. This should not only worry Kriseman, but Foster, too, as much of the establishment could live with/rally to Curran’s banner if it’s a choice between the two of them.

The automated poll was conducted on March 16 and consisted of 1,319 respondents. The poll has a margin of error of 2.7%.

 

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.