New poll: Nurse and Kennedy safe (for now) in St. Pete City Council races

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Supporting a public vote on the Pier is valuable for Karl Nurse in his re-election to the St. Petersburg City Council. District 2 Councilmember Jim Kennedy also maintains a slightly smaller lead in his re-election bid.

The strength of Nurse and Kennedy against hypothetical candidates is from a new survey by St. Pete Polls commissioned by PinskiPolitics.com

So far, no candidates have declared a challenge against either, but a group of likely voters shared their opinion about future challengers who might have the best chances in races with both incumbents.

These supposed candidates were not asked about their intentions, or even if they have any interest in running. PinskiPolitics.com called for the survey to examine any vulnerability in Nurse and Kennedy’s reelection bids.

In the race for the Nurse’s District 6 seat, he has a comfortable lead against former editor Blanche Ganey of the Weekly Challenger Newspaper. Nurse received a favorable 42 percent versus 15 percent for Ganey. Forty-three percent of voters remained undecided.

Nurse also leads in a hypothetical match with longtime city employee Thomas “Jet” Jackson. Nurse receives 40 percent support, and Jackson improves on Ganey’s numbers with 18 percent.  In that match-up, 41 percent is undecided.

For Jim Kennedy’s District 2 re-election, the numbers, although good, are a little less firm. 

Kennedy leads Riviera Bay Civic Association president David Hoover by only eleven points— 26 to 15 percent.  Nearly two-thirds of voters —59 percent –are undecided. Community advocate Kofi Hunt gets 12 percent against 30 percent for Kennedy, again with 59 percent undecided.  

Support from the city’s African-American voters is what might be holding Kennedy’s numbers down. He receives only 13 percent of their support in the matchup with Hoover.

The PinskiPolitics blog suggests that Kennedy’s misstep in an earlier race for the council might be to blame. In 2009, Kennedy voiced to a black audience that he felt popular former Councilmember David Welch might not be the most qualified candidate to replace Ernest Williams.

Kennedy’s strength (or lack thereof) shows that the south side may not have forgotten. However, since  there is no serious challenge to Kennedy at this point, his seat seems safe.

The StPetePolls survey of the 417 prospective City of St. Petersburg voters was from June 4, 2013. It includes a random sampling of likely voters within the city limits, those registered to vote and who voted in a city election in either 2009 or 2011. The margin of error is 4.8 percent.  

StPetePolls conducted the study for CAF Productions, a company affiliated with PinskiPolitics.com

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.