July 27, 2006 – With the Democratic gubernatorial primary just a bit more than a month away, V.I. pollster John Boyd came out Thursday with his most recent take on what the electorate is thinking.
According to Boyd, the primary is too close to call, but he did provide some answers on what could happen if any one of the three Democratic teams faces off against either Kenneth Mapp or Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, both running as independents. Mapp's running mate for lieutenant governor is Almando "Rocky" Liburd, while Donastorg's is Dr. Cora Christian.
He said 200 people were asked how they would vote in each of the following scenarios.
Should former Superior Court Judge Edgar Ross and his running mate, Sen. Lorraine Berry, prevail in the Democratic primary, Boyd's poll gives them a big win in the November general election. He predicts that they'll capture 68 percent of the vote, with Mapp/Liburd taking 22 percent and Donastorg/Christian capturing 10 percent.
If Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards and Roy Jackson get the nod from Democrats, Boyd predicts a much closer race. He said his poll shows that Mapp/Liburd will win with 41 percent of the vote. Richards/Jackson would get 30 percent, with Donastorg/Christian taking 28 percent.
If it turns out that John deJongh and running mate Gregory Francis take the Democratic primary, Boyd thinks they'll win the general election with 53 percent of the vote. Mapp/Liburd will come in second with 33 percent of the vote, with Donastorg/Christian taking third with 13 percent.
In discussing the Democratic primary, he said that deJongh and Ross are the most popular among registered Democrats, but all three teams run neck and neck among those who call themselves "committed Democrats."
Committed Democrats were defined as those who said they were very likely to vote in the Democratic primary.
He said Ross is the big winner among St. Croix committed Democrats, with Richards second. On St. Thomas, DeJongh takes the lead, with the Ross/Berry team second. Boyd claimed that the Ross/Berry team's strength on St. Thomas comes from Berry.
As far as issues go, crime and public safety take top honors. Education is second across the territory. St. Croix's concern with jobs and the economy remain a serious enough issue to give it third place.
The state of the territory's roads and the Public Works Department's inability to fix them was fourth, with the health care system taking fifth.
Boyd said those polled were concerned about the high cost of local health care services compared with Puerto Rico and Florida, as well as erroneous billing. He said that the quality of health care does not appear to be an issue.
The very high cost of fuel and electricity provided by the V.I. Water and Power Authority took sixth place.
Boyd said this is the third poll he's done since April 2005. However, those polls included only candidates thought likely to run.
Those in this latest poll are declared candidates. He said he took his sample by using names from the telephone book.
"That leaves out people with unlisted numbers and people with cell phones," he said.
He said he throws out the information from people who say when asked at the end of the interview that they're not registered voters.
Boyd said he funded the poll himself.
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