The latest polling update in Maryland’s gubernatorial race suggests it’s not even close, with 54 percent of likely voters planning on picking incumbent GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, compared to 32 percent who are backing former NAACP president and venture capitalist Ben Jealous.
Nine percent of Marylanders remains undecided. Those numbers come from the Goucher Poll, which surveyed 472 likely voters with a 4.5 percent margin of error.
Among those who did pick between Hogan and Jealous, three-fourths said they’re set on their choice; about a fourth said they could change their mind.
Asked about the most important issues in this election, 25 percent said the economy and jobs; 13 percent said education, President Donald Trump/national affairs and racial or social justice issues (a three-way tie); 11 percent said health care and 10 percent said taxes.
As the Trump bit suggests, the president’s chaotic presence in the White House is having some effect on voters. Twenty-seven percent of likely voters said the president is influencing their vote for governor “a lot,” up two points from the last Goucher Poll in April.
Two-thirds said they’re more confident in Hogan handling economic development and job creation for the state, compared to 23 percent for Jealous. And about half said the same of Hogan for managing both education and health care.
The favorable results for Hogan—who logged a 64 percent approval rating among Marylanders in the same poll—come after a tough day for Jealous.
Yesterday, the candidate drew the ire of news organizations across the state when his campaign vetoed one of the picks for a panel of reporters for his and Hogan’s sole upcoming debate. The Sun, which has a reporter on the panel, had said it would reconsider participating after Jealous’ campaign vetoed The Hagerstown Herald-Mail’s Tamela Baker from being in the lineup. The veto option was available to both campaigns, but Hogan’s did not use it.
Hours later, Jealous’ campaign sent out a backtracking statement–they actually had no problem with Baker’s involvement, and instead blamed Hogan’s team for not agreeing to other debates: “We have a problem with the entire debate panel selection process, which was severely limited by the Hogan campaign’s unwillingness to simply participate in additional debates, as we originally put forward when we proposed five debates.” (To that end, both sides have pointed fingers as to why they could only settle on one single debate.)
In other elections happening this year, the Goucher Poll suggests Democrats are in control. Fifty-six percent of likely voters said they plan to elect Sen. Ben Cardin to a third term in the U.S. Senate, and 58 percent are backing Brian Frosh for another go as attorney general of Maryland.
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