Poll Sings Familiar Song
Yet another Democratic Primary Poll Looks a Lot like 2018
Maryland Matters reported on yet another new Democratic gubernatorial primary poll.
Four months out from Maryland’s gubernatorial primaries, a poll conducted for Rushern Baker’s campaign shows a four-way battle among Democrats — with Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot holding onto a solid, but not overwhelming, lead.
Franchot was the choice of 23% of Democrats surveyed. Baker, a former two-term Prince George’s County executive making his second bid for governor, was the choice of 15%.
Former U.S. Labor Secretary and Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez had 11% support and former non-profit CEO and author Wes Moore was the choice of 10% of the Democrats surveyed. The other candidates registered in the single digits or not at all.
Undecided remains the true leader of the poll, at 25%.
This poll was commissioned by the Baker Campaign, so buyer beware. That being said, at a time when no other polling groups are polling the Democratic primary, this is what we have to work with.
If this data is to be believed, this race is basically a four-candidate race between Baker, Franchot, Perez, and Moore. The other candidates in single-digits, splitting the other 16% of the vote, have way too much to overcome at this juncture.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III fares the best among the potential Democratic challengers, with 19 percent saying they support his campaign. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz receives 12 percent and former NAACP president Ben Jealous follows with 10 percent.
The poll found the rest of the field in the single digits. Tech entrepreneur Alec Ross has 3 percent support, while state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., attorney James Shea and former Michelle Obama aide Krishanti Vignarajah each received 2 percent.
This new poll again shows this race shares a lot of similarities with the 2018 election. A front-runner who can’t break away from the field. A moderately popular second choice. A non-politician that the left gets very enthused about sitting at exactly ten percent. And a large swath of the electorate is still undecided.
The candidate with the biggest problem right now is Peter Franchot. No candidate is better positioned, both from a perspective of name recognition and financial resources, than Peter Franchot. And even with all of those advantages, he can’t seem to crack 25% in the polls we have seen. A similar parallel would be Baker in 2018, who plateaued in the polls and finished the primary in second with 29.3% of the vote.
It’s interesting to see that the Democratic electorate is following the same pattern they did in the 2018 primary; hedging on frontrunner candidates before siding with the political neophyte with a national following but no Maryland practical knowledge. That helped Ben Jealous get nominated in 2018, and will probably help Wes Moore get nominated in 2022.
We’re less than four months from the primary election1. But much as it has for the last two years, this Democratic primary election is looking a lot like the last one.