Let's Overanalyze This 2022 Poll

The Race for Governor started 18 months ago...

Maryland Matters reported this morning on the first public poll of the 2022 Election cycle, so it’s time to start making assumptions and engaging in speculative talk about the poll and its impact on the election.

First, let’s take a look at the Republican Primary for Governor:

  • Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford: 19%

  • Former Anne Arundel County Exec Steve Schuh: 5%

  • Harford County Exec Barry Glassman: 3%

  • Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz: 2%

  • Former Howard County Exec Allan Kittleman: 2%

  • Undecided: 66%

The poll is flawed, probably because it’s run by a Democratic polling firm. Steve Schuh has taken a lower position in the Hogan Administration and has been making no moves to run for any office in the immediate future. Allan Kittleman was appointed to a 12-year term on the State Workers' Compensation Commission, in 2018, serving through 2030. Robin Ficker, who is actually running for Governor, wasn’t even included in the poll.

So really, the only three people actually considering running for Governor on this list are Rutherford, Glassman, and Schulz. And of those three, very one only one could wind up running. The idea of a Rutherford-Schulz ticket has been floated in many, many Republican circles. Glassman is also weighing a bid for Comptroller as well.

The Republican Primary may wind up to be not much of a show after all.

Josh Kurtz speculates that a member of the Trump wing of the Maryland GOP might run for Governor under the right circumstances. That could very well be, though there is nobody considered to be a hardcore Trump supporter who would run a credible race. Congressman Andy Harris will not give up his seat unless he is somehow redistricted out of it. I expect State Senator Mike Hough to run for Congress if that seat becomes more winnable.

Trump supporters may have a significant number of Central Committee seats, but they don’t have a champion who can raise money and run a campaign.

Now let’s look at the Democrats:

  • Ben Jealous: 15%

  • PG County Exec Angela Alsobrooks: 13%

  • Rep. Anthony Brown: 10%

  • Comptroller Peter Franchot: 9%

  • Rep. David Trone: 6%

  • Baltimore County Exec Johnny Olszewski: 5%

  • Democratic National Chairman Tom Perez: 3%

  • Anne Arundel County Exec Steuart Pittman: 2%

  • Former U.S. Education Secretary John King: 2%

  • Undecided: 35%

The Maryland Democratic Party remains a total, divided mess. Ben Jealous was the biggest disaster as a statewide Democratic candidate in state history in 2018. Anthony Brown wasn’t much better in 2014. The fact that those two statewide losers share 25% of the Democratic primary voter is as much a sign of name recognition as it is anything else.

Peter Franchot has certainly not had a good week. First, karma came for Franchot’s longtime consigliere Len Foxwell as Franchot finally turfed him. It appears that it was not related to Foxwell’s hate speech against Republicans from April. But it’s something much bigger than that, even if Foxwell has his personal spinner on social media try to save face. Now, Franchot has no traction in a statewide poll at a time where he is the highest-ranking Democratic official in State Government. No doubt Franchot’s perceived fiscal conservative has something to do with that, even if Franchot is radically left-wing. But a lot of this has to do with the Maryland Democratic Party being full of people who just want to burn the party to the ground and to make it more of a radicalized socialist enterprise. Because they learned nothing from 2018.

David Trone has money and zero goodwill from the left. The only hope he has running even in a statewide Democratic primary is being able to outspend everybody by carpet bombing the airwaves with TV spots.

Tom Perez isn’t going anywhere for the same reasons. He’s the literal embodiment of the Democratic establishment and that dog is not going to hunt with primary voters.

Wealthy horseman Steuart Pittman isn’t running for Governor. His accidency lucked into his win in 2018 thanks to an anti-Trump wave.

John King is trying to follow the Governor Hogan model of using an advocacy group to set up a campaign. But he’s never run for office and he’s a political newcomer to the world of Maryland politics. That has not worked for Democrats before.

My prediction right now: The General Election is going to be Boyd Rutherford vs. Angela Alsobrooks.

Over in the Democratic race for Comptroller, 68% percent of the people are undecided, but let’s take a fun look at that primary anyway:

  • Del. Brooke Lierman: 6%

  • Sen. Brian J. Feldman 5%

  • Bowie Mayor Tim Adams: 3%

  • Sen. James C. Rosapepe: 2%

  • Montgomery County Councilman Tom Hucker: 2%

  • Other candidates: 8%

The poll is kinda weird because the only candidates here who have openly talked about running is James Rosapepe, most notably because he wants to run for Comptroller despite not knowing how to pronounce Comptroller.

Brooke Lierman is most notable for wanting a statewide plastic bag tax to make groceries more expensive for working folks.

There is no Republican poll for Comptroller because there are likely to be no serious candidates running for Comptroller unless the aforementioned Barry Glassman decides to run.

It’s a long way to go until the 2022 primary….but not that long. We’re less than two years away from the June primary. We’ll know more in six months once campaigns start getting launched in early 2021.