Democratic, Republican Primary Voters Split Among Candidates: New Goucher College Poll
The gubernatorial primaries in Maryland remain hotly contested as the race to the top remains fluid, according to a newly released Goucher College poll.
Pollsters surveyed more than 500 Maryland Democratic and 500 Republican voters, and found that both races may come down to a photo finish with less than three weeks until the primary vote on Tuesday, July 19.
In a field of several Democratic candidates, three front runners have emerged: Comptroller Peter Franchot (16 percent), former CEO Wes Moore (14 percent), and former Secretary of Labor, Licensing, & Regulation Tom Perez (14 percent), who were the only ones to garner double-digit support.
Other candidates lagged behind, according to the poll, including:
- Doug Gansler: 5 percent;
- John King: 4 percent;
- Jon Baron: 2 percent;
- Ashcan Jain: 2 percent;
- Undecided: 35 percent.
Pollsters noted that 63 percent of Democratic voters believe a candidate “could change their mind," before the primary, while 33 percent declared that they were "set on their choice.”
“Our poll was conducted one month out from the primary election,” Mileah Kromer, the director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College said, cautioning that it is unclear how much attention the average voter will pay to the upcoming primary.
“Three frontrunners each have the campaign funds and endorsements to compete for the voters of a largely undecided and malleable Democratic primary electorate.”
On the other side of the aisle, nearly 50 percent of Republican primary voters said they are undecided about their choice for governor, and 47 percent said they could change their mind.
If held today, pollsters said that 25 percent believe they will vote for Maryland State Del. Dan Cox, while former Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kelly Shulz has garnered 22 percent of support.
Officials noted that Democratic voters were informed that Cox has been supported by former President Donald Trump, while Gov. Larry Hogan endorsed Shulz to determine how they would potentially vote in the general election.
Those voters said that in the general election, 84 percent of Democrats said they would not consider Cox, versus 9 percent who would consider him. A total of 49 percent said they would not consider Shulz, while 23 percent would keep her in mind. The other 11 percent said that “it depends.”
“Given the political demographics of the state, Republican candidates must earn around a quarter of Democratic votes to win statewide office,” Kromer noted.
“Our polling suggests that the Republican primary race is competitive between Cox and Schulz, but that Shulz is in the best positive to be competitive against the Democratic nominee in the general election.”
The complete results of the Goucher College poll, including Maryland voters’ thoughts on the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, the 2020 election results, and whether they would support Hogan potentially running for president in 2024.
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