The Maryland Government House. Photo by Maryland GovPics/Flickr.

About a month out from Maryland’s primary election, the race for governor has received little attention from many voters.

But with a Democratic debate Monday and candidates continuing to hit the campaign trail, the race is gathering steam.

Here are three political stories this week about the state’s gubernatorial primary election.

Sun/UB poll: Franchot leads Democrats in Maryland governor’s race, Moore and Perez chase; most voters undecided via The Baltimore Sun

With a little over a month to go before the July 19 primary election, about one-third of likely Democratic voters and two-fifths of likely Republican voters are undecided about which gubernatorial candidate will get their vote, according to a new poll for Baltimore Sun Media and the University of Baltimore.

The poll, conducted by Annapolis-based firm OpinionWorks, found that 31% of likely Democratic voters and 42% of likely Republican voters have not decided who will get their vote.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot leads the pack as the preferred candidate for 20% of the state’s Democratic voters, though former nonprofit leader Wes Moore (15%) and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez (12%) follow closely behind.

Former Maryland Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schulz, who has been endorsed by Gov. Larry Hogan, leads as the preferred candidate of 27% of Republican voters, followed closely by Trump-endorsed Del. Dan Cox with 21%.

Registered Democratic voters outnumber registered Republican voters 2-to-1 in Maryland. Yet, the Baltimore Sun notes that in 2018 Gov. Larry Hogan became the first Republican governor to be reelected in Maryland in 64 years.

Hogan has maintained the support of the majority of Marylanders, with a 65% approval rating in a Goucher College poll in March.

For the Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll, OpinionWorks surveyed 562 likely Democratic primary voters and 428 likely Republican primary voters by telephone and online from May 27 through June 2.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points for the likely Democratic voters and plus or minus 4.7 percentage points for the likely Republican voters.

High stakes, low attention: Dynamic Democratic field vies for Md. governor via The Washington Post

Although Democratic voters hold a considerable majority in Maryland, the state has elected a Republican governor in three of the past five elections – two of those being Hogan.

This cycle, the Democrats have attracted a field of 10 candidates. “I thought the ballot’s gonna be longer than a CVS receipt,” U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, of New Jersey, told The Washington Post.

Despite having so many options, voters are not only largely undecided – many are unaware of when the primary election even is.

Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who is among the Democrats running for governor, told The Washington Post that while he was campaigning a woman asked him whether the election was that day.

Gansler expects turnout will be “abysmal” and said “people aren’t paying attention.”

Democratic candidates for Maryland governor to debate Monday via WBAL

As a large swath of voters are undecided about whom they will cast their ballot for, the Democratic candidates’ first televised debate on Monday could help some voters make up their minds.

Democratic candidates vying to become Maryland’s next governor will face off during a debate which will be broadcast Monday at 7 p.m.

The debate, which is a joint production of WBAL-TV 11 and Maryland Public Television, will be broadcast on Maryland Public Television, WBAL-TV, and WBAL Radio 1090 AM. Viewers can also stream it on Maryland Public Television’s website and YouTube channel.

Maryland Public Television anchor Jeff Salkin will serve as the debate moderator. The debate will also include three panelists: WBAL-TV news anchor Deborah Weiner; Clarence M. Mitchell IV, co-host of “The C4 And Bryan Nehman Show” on WBAL Radio 1090 AM; and Alexis Taylor, news editor of the AFRO-American newspapers.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at