With less than two weeks before Election Day in St. Petersburg, it is a good day to be on Team Kriseman.
The Tampa Bay Times, in conjunction with Bay News 9 and WUSF Public Media, just published a poll showing challenger Rick Kriseman up 6 points over incumbent Bill Foster. The Times lays out just what an uphill battle Mayor Foster has over the next 11 days. Writes Mark Puente :
With 19 percent of voters undecided and only 11 days left in the race, the battle may again come down to who can capture votes in the city’s black community, which has been a determining factor in recent elections. The poll showed Kriseman with a solid lead among black voters, with 45 percent compared with Foster’s 21 percent.
Puente is right: it has been an “odd” election. Just last month, they polled voters and found that 72 percent of them thought “the city was headed in the right direction,” but they weren’t as big on the mayor. Those voters who like the general direction of the city could have just as easily decided not to change horses in mid-stream, and the polling results we’re reading today would be vastly different.
But it appears voters, as they make up their minds, like their city, like the general growth and direction of St. Petersburg, but want to give someone else a chance to lead it.
By no means is the race locked up for Kriseman — and do not expect to see either campaign slow down in the coming days. In fact, watch for the opposite, as both Kriseman and Foster campaign harder than ever to make their case to that ever-shrinking population who is still undecided.