Maryland’s 2018 governor’s race remains a free-for-all among Democrats, according to a new poll from Goucher College.
The latest segment of the college polling center’s fall survey finds former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler has the most name recognition among nine Democrats fielded as picks for next year’s governor’s race, with 28 percent of likely Democratic voters saying they’d consider him. Unfortunately for them, Gansler has already declined to enter the race.
In terms of actual support, the poll puts Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker in first at a whopping mark of 13 percent, just two points above Gansler who, again, isn’t running. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who isn’t officially running, and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz tied for third at just 8 percent. Former NAACP head Ben Jealous logged a 6 percent support mark, while the other four candidates are sitting at 2 percent or less.
The biggest winner so far is, well, no one. Forty-four percent of Democratic voters said they’re undecided or have no preference at all.
If this is any indication about who Dems would go for in the June primary race, the poll also found 55 percent are seeking a “more progressive” nominee, while 34 percent want a “more moderate” challenger to Gov. Larry Hogan. Another 9 percent want a “more conservative” nominee.
Polling director Mileah Kromer said in an optimistic statement released with the new results, “The good news for all the candidates is that without an early favorite and with plenty of time to make a connection with voters, it’s anybody’s race. It will be interesting to see whether Democratic voters choose a more moderate or more progressive candidate to challenge Governor Hogan in 2018.”
The bad news is that Hogan is sitting pretty just over a year from the election. A second installment of Goucher’s poll released yesterday pegged his approval rating at 62 percent, down a few points from earlier this year but still a healthy approval mark, particularly for a Republican governor in a Democratic state.
The poll regarding Democratic primary candidates surveyed 324 likely Democratic voters, with a 5.4 percent margin of error.