Poll: Rushern Baker Leads Democratic Field For Governor in ‘Wide-Open’ Race

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Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker leads the Democratic field looking to challenge Gov. Larry Hogan in November, according to a new poll released by Gonzales Research & Media Services.

In a poll of registered Democratic voters conducted from Dec. 27, 2017, to Jan. 5, 24 percent said they would vote for Baker in the June primary if it were held today. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and former NAACP president Ben Jealous were in a tie for second with 14 percent.

State Senator Richard Madaleno is at 5 percent. Krish Vignarajah, a former adviser to Michelle Obama; Alec Ross, a tech entrepreneur and former adviser to Hillary Clinton in the State Department; Jim Shea, a former partner at the Venable law firm; and Ralph Jaffe, whom The Sun describes as a “perennial candidate,” all had less than 2 percent.

But one-third of respondents said they were still undecided, leading the research firm to conclude the race “starts 2018 as a wide-open affair.”

According to the poll, Baker holds leads with African-American voters, voters under age 55, and residents in his home county as well as, critically, neighboring Montgomery County. Kamenetz is drawing strong support from his own home jurisdiction, where he received 47 percent support. Jealous has a slight lead in Baltimore City, with 22 percent support; Kamenetz trails by three points, and behind him sits Baker at 11 percent.

The number one issue for Democratic voters polled is “Removing Trump.” The primary vote will be held on June 26.

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