A poll on the next elections in Naples shows the outgoing members of the Council Ray Christmas and Terry Hutchison in a strong position to be re-elected. But there is a battle for a third place available on the stage.

The survey of Preview of Victory, present in Naples, has published results according to a survey carried out before February 1 municipal election. The wider race puts five candidates on the same ballot, with the top three voters winning seats.

While pollsters acknowledge that such races are difficult to poll, a survey factoring in the candidates’ voter rankings modeled the election and offered a prediction on the outcome if voting took place today.

He found Christman and Hutchison with strong support. Ultimately, the poll concluded that Hutchison had a 94% chance of winning a seat and Christman had a 91% chance. Given that Hutchison was a top pick for 53% of those polled and Christman was the top pick for 35%, it’s therefore likely that the two will finish in the top three and get another term on the Council.

Beth Petrunoff appears the second most likely to win a seat, and pollsters give her a 74% chance of winning. But she’s far enough down the rankings that there’s no guarantee. The pollsters still give John Dugan about 36% attempted to find a seat.

Indeed, the possibility of voting for three candidates – without having to vote for more than one – complicates the forecasts. Many voters will likely “bullet vote”, voting only for their first choice in hopes of improving their chances of winning a seat.

Petrunoff is the first choice for 10% of voters, while Dugan is the first candidate for just 2%. But it is also the third choice for 26% of respondents. Petrunoff is consistently in the top three rankings for more voters polled than Dugan.

Yet Dugan also appears to be the most popular candidate among Republicans in Naples, meaning that with particularly strong GOP performances in this election, Dugan could outperform and win a seat.

“The question remains: Will Dugan or Petrunoff claim the last seat on the city council? The answer to this question depends on a number of factors,” a poll note said. “The simulations give Petrunoff a 74% chance of finishing in the top three, compared to just 36% for Dugan. On a related note, Petrunoff is expected to finish with more votes than Dugan, but only by around 3%. In a survey like this with a limited sample size, a 3% difference between candidates is certainly within the margin of error.

“Furthermore, Dugan’s vote share could increase significantly if he succeeds in bringing non-traditional municipal voters to the polls. In other words, if he leads a [Donald] Asset-esque campaign, he needs General Trump to support voters to get out and vote.

The big loser in this poll was Ian Rudnick. No voter chose him as their first choice and only 5% placed him in the top 3.

“Nevertheless, we cannot forget that this race is not over yet, and therefore the election has not yet been decided. During the final two weeks of their respective campaigns, candidates can launch a last-minute outreach campaign, change their strategies, or connect with new voters. Until then, this data is our clearest window into the minds of voters,” the memo reads.

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