Aug. 28, 2006 — The gubernatorial race in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary is too close to call, according to St. Thomas businessman Randy Knight, who on Monday released the results of a poll conducted by Solomon Kabuka and his team.
"The field is wide open," Knight said.
Knight said he funded the poll to provide a sense of how the candidates were rated by the voters and to bring to the forefront important issues.
He said a second question in the poll that included all gubernatorial team primary candidates, as well as the other two teams running as Independents, in the Nov. 7 general election was also too close to call.
In the primary election poll, the team of John deJongh and Gregory Francis were chosen by 20 percent of those responding.. The teams of Edgar Ross and Sen. Lorraine Berry, and Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards and Roy Jackson each got 8 percent.
DeJongh and Francis won on all three islands, capturing 20 percent on St. Thomas, 25 percent on St. John and 17 percent on St. Croix.
Richards and Jackson got 16 percent on St. John, but only 6 percent on St. Thomas and 8 percent on Richards' home island of St. Croix.
Ross and Berry received 8 percent on St. Thomas and St. John and 9 percent on St. Croix.
A total of 25 percent of those polled about the Democratic primary said they were undecided. Another 32 percent said they didn't know or refused to say how they would vote.
Knight said the margin of error runs plus or minus 5 percent, which brings the results very close.
In the general election poll, deJongh and Francis led with 18 percent, with the team of Kenneth Mapp and Almando "Rocky" Liburd trailing with 9 percent.
Ross and Berry, as well as Richards and Jackson, both got 6 percent. Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg and his running mate, Dr. Cora Christian, received 3 percent.
On an island-by-island breakdown, deJongh and Francis got 20 percent on St. Thomas and St. John, and 15 percent on St. Croix.
Mapp and Liburd received 7 percent on St. Thomas, 11 percent on St. John and 10 percent on St. Croix.
Ross and Berry came in at 6 percent on St. Thomas and St. Croix and 8 percent on St. John.
Richards and Jackson had 6 percent on St. Thomas, 12 percent on St. John and 4 percent on St. Croix.
Donastorg and Christian trailed with 4 percent on St. Thomas and 3 percent each on St. John and St. Croix.
A total of 27 percent of those polled about the general election were undecided. Another 30 percent said they didn't know or refused to say how they would vote.
Knight said Kabuka polled 390 people for the primary result. That figure included 191 on St. Thomas, 51 on St. John and 148 on St. Croix.
He said 530 people were polled for the general election information. That included 227 on St. Thomas, 75 on St. John and 228 on St. Croix.
He said that the poll was conducted via the telephone and that the poll only included people who said they were registered voters.
Knight said that in previous polls, four out of 10 people qualified and agreed to answer questions. In this poll, only one in 10 fit the parameters.
Voters had no trouble deciding what was the most pressing issue in the territory. A total of 47 percent said it was crime, with the state of the territory's education system second with 20 percent.
The economy and cost of living each captured 13 percent, with "other" getting 2 percent and don't know/refused to say getting 5 percent.
According to the Elections Board Web site, the territory has 31,615 registered Democrats. The total number of voters stands at 36,158, with 2,803 of them registered as Republicans and 1,740 registered as members of the Independent Citizens Movement party.
Kabuka could not be reached for comment.
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