The Afro, Morgan State team up on new poll series focused on black Marylanders

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The Afro-American Newspapers building on N. Charles Street. Photo by Eli Pousson, via Flickr.

Two of Baltimore’s venerable black institutions, The Afro newspaper and Morgan State University, are linking up for a series of polls covering African-Americans’ opinions across Maryland, with an eye toward going national further down the line.

In timely fashion, the first survey, being administered by New Jersey-based market research firm Braun Research, will cover the gubernatorial match-up between incumbent GOP Gov. Larry Hogan and former NAACP president Ben Jealous. Morgan State’s Institute for Urban Research, with assistance from Braun, will analyze the results, Morgan State University spokesman Larry Jones told Baltimore Fishbowl.

The same series of Maryland-centric polls will include questions on “economics and buying power, quality of life, mortality and law enforcement, with an eye toward polling of national trends,” according to a release posted by The Afro this morning. The poll will cover solely Marylanders identifying as African-American, and includes samples of registered voters split by age, gender, income and education.

Data collection should be finished by now, Jones said, and the results should be published by the end of this week.

“This is a unique time in our country’s history, and to make sense of some of the things that are transpiring requires a unique understanding, as we strive to give a voice to those who may not feel their issues are adequately being addressed or highlighted,” said Morgan State University’s president, David Wilson, in a statement. “With this partnership, we believe that we can assist in bridging some of the gaps.”

Plenty of schools team up with publications for polls—look to partnerships between The Sun and the University of Baltimore, or The Washington Post and the University of Maryland—though this will be the first time a legacy black newspaper and an HBCU have done it specifically to gauge African-American’ opinions, a release says.

And the series has broader ambitions than just this election cycle. Jones said at least two other surveys will be conducted statewide, but the eventual goal is to become a national poll.

A Gonzales Research and Media Services poll published earlier this month found Hogan holds a commanding lead over Jealous ahead of Election Day, mirroring lopsided results from other surveys by Goucher College and UMD-WaPo.

Broken out by race, the Gonzales poll found 70 percent of black Maryland voters said they would pick Jealous for governor, compared to 21 percent for Hogan.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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