SOME NEW NUMBERS TO PONDER OVER
The latest St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9 poll doesn't show any real surprises as to who Florida residents are favouring in the race for the White House.
Among Democrats, U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has a comfortable lead over her rivals with 42 percent. Fellow Senator Barak Obama is second with only 19 percent, followed by former Senator and 2006 vice presidential nominee John Edwards with only 12 percent. Seventeen percent of the Democrats responding say they were still undecided. Pollster Tom Eldon said that Clinton even had a comfortable lead over Obama among African-Americans.
The GOP race is a bit more in the air. Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani was shown to be leading among area Republicans with 29 percent. U.S. Senator John McCain was favoured by 15 percent with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney on his tail at 14 percent. Undecided responses made up 17 percent of those asked.
When you look at some of the Republican numbers in the Tampa Bay area, there is some sharp divisions. In Pinellas County, known to favour more moderate Republicans, McCain leads Giuliani 25-19 percent. Meanwhile in Hillsborough County, the numbers are reversed with the former New York mayor leading McCain 31-14 percent. One interesting note: In Hillsborough County, one in four registered Republicans participating in the survey noted they would favour former Tennessee senator and actor Fred Dalton Thompson if he chose to enter the race. Statewide, Thompson earned only nine percent, about the same as another potential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
The survey of 901 Florida voters was conducted May 6-9 by Schroth, Eldon, and Associates, a company who primarily works with Democrats, and the Polling Company, whose clientele is mostly Republican. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percent overall, five percent for the Democratic primary and 5.4 percent for the Republican primary.