New polls were released by VI Tech Stack in collaboration with the University of the Virgin Islands Center for Excellence in Leadership and Learning (UVI-CELL). One survey was conducted in the St. Croix District and a second was conducted in the St. Thomas-St. John District.
Incumbent Democrat Stacey Plaskett is expected to win handily the election for delegate to the house of representatives over challenger Shekema M. George. Plaskett received 74 percent support to George’s 9 percent in St. Croix and Plaskett received 71 percent support to George’s 14 percent in St. Thomas-St. John.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands legislative elections, seven candidates will be elected in the St. Thomas-St. John District and seven candidates will be elected in the St. Croix District.
On St. Croix, Democrat Kurt Vialet was the top performer, receiving 15.1 percent support. He’s followed closely by the non-incumbent challenger, Democrat Genevieve Whitaker, with 14.7 percent of the vote. They were the only two to finish in double digits. There is very little separation to round out the top seven. Democrat Allison DeGazon finished third with 8.4 percent, Democrat Novelle E. Francis, Jr. fourth with 7.7 percent, Independent Samuel “Sam” Carrion fifth with 7.3 percent, Independent Alicia “Chucky” Hansen sixth with 6.7 percent, and Democrat Javan E. James seventh with 6.5 percent. Independent Franklin D. Johnson and independent Michael J. Springer were the first two out of the top seven, finishing with 5.4 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively. 9.2 percent remain undecided.
In St. Thomas-St. John, Independent Janelle K. Sarauw and Democrat Donna Frett Gregory were the top two performers, with 13.2 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively. Democrat Marvin A. Blyden also finished in double digits, with 11.7 percent. Democrat Stedmann Hodge Jr. finished fourth with 8.6 percent, Democrat Athneil “Bobby” Thomas fifth with 7.5 percent, Democrat Milton E. Potter sixth with 6.2 percent and Independent Dwayne M. DeGraff seventh with 5.2 percent. There was less than a point of separation between the next four who finished outside of the top seven. Independent Citizens Movement Stephen “Smokey” Frett, Independent Alma Francis Heyliger, Democrat Carla Joseph, and Independent Ray Fonseca finished with 4.3 percent, 4.1 percent, 3.8 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. And 12.6 percent remain undecided.
The surveys also asked voters about their opinion of Governor Albert Bryan, and his favorability remains high in both districts. On St. Croix, 47 percent have a favorable opinion of the Governor and 31 percent have an unfavorable opinion (+16). In St. Thomas-St. John, 58 percent have a favorable opinion of the governor and 25 percent have an unfavorable opinion (+33).
Gov. Bryan also has very good numbers when it comes to his handling of the coronavirus. On St. Croix, 67 percent agree with his handling compared to 22 percent who disagree (+45). On St. Thomas-St. John, 70 percent agree with his handling compared to 22 percent who disagree (+48).
Bryan’s favorability and opinion on handling of the coronavirus have both increased on St. Croix and St. Thomas-St. John since the same questions were asked in the surveys VI Tech Stack and the University of the Virgin Islands Center for Excellence in Leadership and Learning conducted in September.
The polls found voters in the Virgin Islands are overwhelmingly in support of more development and tourism. On St. Croix, 85 percent are in favor of a new hotel or casino that would create jobs for residents of the USVI; 67 percent are in favor of more tourism. In St. Thomas-St. John District, 68 percent are in favor of a new hotel or casino that would create jobs for residents of the USVI, and 60 percent are in favor of more tourism.
Respondents were also asked how supportive they would be of a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy in which the U.S. Virgin Islands government would support the private sector in rebuilding efforts and economic resiliency for the Virgin Islands, including upgrades to key infrastructure such as the Cyril E. King Airport and WAPA. Some 80 percent of respondents in St. Croix District and 81 percent in St. Thomas-St. John District said they are supportive.
The St. Croix District poll was conducted Oct. 24-26, surveyed 250 likely voters, and has a 6.17 percent margin of error.
The St. Thomas-St. John District poll was conducted Oct. 24-26, surveyed 450 likely voters and has a 4.58 percent margin of error.
VI Tech Stack and the University of the Virgin Islands Center for Excellence in Leadership and Learning accurately predicted the results of the 2018 U.S. Virgin Islands general election. In the gubernatorial race, the top five vote-getters were predicted in order, and a runoff election was accurately predicted between Albert Bryan and Kenneth Mapp. The poll also correctly predicted the winner of the Senate At-Large race, 7/7 of the St. Croix legislative winners, and 6/7 of the St. Thomas-St. John legislative winners.
VI Tech Stack and the University of the Virgin Islands Center for Excellence in Leadership and Learning also accurately predicted the winner of the 2018 gubernatorial runoff election. The poll showed Albert Bryan as the 9-point favorite, which is exactly the margin he went on to win by.