Bryan Holds Wide Lead in Democratic Primary, Poll Shows, Marise James Leading St. Croix Senate Race While Javan James Fails to Make Top 7

Politics Published On June 30, 2022 04:07 PM
Ernice Gilbert | June 30, 2022 04:07:37 PM

Primary election polling performed by USVI-based analytics firm IAM LLC reveal a large gap in the gubernatorial race between Governor Albert Bryan and candidate Kent Bernier. By IAM LLC

Governor Albert Bryan holds a wide lead against Democratic Primary contenders Kent Bernier and Oakland Benta, and newcomer Marise James is topping the Democratic Senate race on St. Croix while Javan James has fallen below the 7 winners chosen during Democratic Primary elections in the territory.

That's according to polling data released by local firm Island Analytics Marketing, LLC Thursday. The firm, which in May released its first polling data for the season, said it polled the voting age population of the USVI "because the registered voter population is similar to the demographics of the adult population of the USVI." IAM LLC added that "likeliness to vote and expected voter turnout are then determined by survey response."

The firm said it conducted "non-overlapping online and phone surveys to achieve the optimum mix of online and traditional sampling methods for the USVI's target population of democrat voters." This approach "mitigates any over or under-representation of any demographic within the survey sample."

According to the polling results, seen here, Angel Bolques Jr. is dominating the at-large race, pummeling incumbent Senator Steven D. Payne Sr., whose fortunes took a turn for the worse after multiple women came out with accusations of either sexual assault or sexual harassment against him. Mr. Payne is also facing expulsion from the 34th Legislature, with his fate set to be determined during a session in July, say people with knowledge of the matter.

Yet even with Mr. Bolques's lead against Mr. Payne in the primary, the category "none of the above" was the second most favorable choice for the senator-at-large position with 37.4 percent of respondents choosing neither Payne nor Bolques.

In the St. Thomas-St. John District Democratic Primary, Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory dominates the list of 7, placing at the top, according to the polling data.

Relative to the gubernatorial Democratic Primary, Governor Bryan's lead against candidates Bernier and Benta was the largest in St. John, where Mr. Bryan leads 80.8 percent to 11.5 percent, the polling results show. In St. Thomas, Mr. Bryan commanded a lead of 67.7 percent to the Bernia-Benta team's 21 percent. On St. Croix, the governor held a 49.7 percent lead against the Bernia-Benta ticket's 28.8 percent, according to the data.

Territory-wide, Mr. Bryan leads 59.2 percent to the Bernia-Benta team's 24.5 percent.

Regarding the Senate Democratic Primary race on St. Croix, Marise James is followed by Novelle E. Francis Jr. in second place, Kenneth Gittens in third place, Genevieve Whitaker in fourth place, Ophelia Williams-Jackson in the fifth slot, with Diane T. Caephart and Hubert Lorenzo Frederick coming in the sixth and seventh place respectively. 

Senator Javan James, according to the poll, failed to place in the top 7, coming in eighth place followed by Troy Williams in ninth place.

In St. Thomas, Ms. Frett-Gregory was followed by Milton Potter in second place, Carla J. Joseph in third place, Marvin Blyden in fourth place, none of the above in the fifth place, Ray Fonseca in sixth and Lawrence Boschulte in seventh place.


"As of June 6, 2022, the Election System of the Virgin Islands' voter data shows that the number of registered democrat voters is 34,444. To achieve the widely established confidence level of 95% with a 5% margin of error, an accurate sample size for the democrat voters in the USVI is 380 participants. With a democrat participants turnout of 652, IAM's margin of error for this Primary Election poll data is 4%," Island Analytics Marketing said.

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