Former Mayor Sheila Dixon and former Treasury Department official Mary Miller are tied for the lead in Baltimore’s mayoral race, according to a new poll, and City Council President Brandon Scott is right on their heels.
Dixon and Miller each received 18 percent support, while Scott trails by three points, according to the poll conducted by The Baltimore Sun, WYPR and the University of Baltimore.
Former federal prosecutor and Deputy Attorney General of Maryland Thiru Vignarajah was the only other candidate to get double-digit support from voters, at 11 percent. T.J. Smith a former spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., received 6 percent, and Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young got 5 percent.
Twenty-two percent of voters remain undecided, but the tight grouping at the top led to The Sun labeling the election as a “three-way race.”
OpinionWorks, which conducted the survey for the two news outlets and university, surveyed 400 likely Democratic primary voters in the city from May 11-18. There’s a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.9 percent.
Among they city’s black voters, a majority of the population, Dixon is the favorite choice, at 26 percent. Miller has 11 percent support.
It’s flipped among white voters, 31 percent of whom back Miller. Only 3 percent of whites support Dixon.
Scott has nearly equal support from both groups, registering 17 percent support from white voters and 16 percent support from African Americans. He also leads among voter groups younger than 35 and younger than 50.
In early March, the three same organizations released a poll showing Dixon (16 percent) six points ahead of Scott and Vignarajah (10 percent). Miller has made up the most ground, jumping nine points.
On social media, Miller’s campaign touted the results and shared a line in The Sun‘s story saying, “The candidate showing the largest surge in support is Miller.”
Scott’s campaign argued the poll shows the council president is best positioned to win.
“He’s leading with all voters under the age of 50 and is the only person in this race with strong support among Black and white voters,” campaign manager Marvin James wrote in an email to supporters. “A strong sign of momentum, he has grown his support by 5 points since the last poll in March.”
The Dixon campaign didn’t release anything about the poll.
Throughout the race, polling has shown the election is likely going to be tight. Dixon, Vignarajah, Scott, Smith and now Miller have all had at least a share of the lead, and previous margins of errors of 5 and 6 percent mean at least a handful of candidates have a statistical shot.
The June 2 election is being conducted by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic, but many residents in Baltimore are only just now starting to receive their ballots, leading to local elected officials, including Scott, to raise concerns.
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