Larry Hogan leads Ben Jealous by 22 points in Maryland

September 19, 2018

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan holds a 22-point lead over Democrat Ben Jealous in the Maryland governor’s race, according to Goucher College polling released Wednesday.

Mr. Hogan attracted support from 54 percent of likely voters, compared to 32 percent for Mr. Jealous, 1 percent for Green Party candidate Ian Schlakman, and 1 percent for Libertarian Shawn Quinn. Nine percent said they were undecided.

About three-quarters of those who decided on a candidate said they are set on their choice.

Mr. Jealous has lagged Mr. Hogan in fundraising, leaving him unable to define his candidacy to the public and make gains in recent months, said Mileah Kromer, who oversees the poll.

“Hogan’s electoral strength continues to be grounded in political moderation and the confidence the public has in him to handle economic issues,” Ms. Kromer said. “We have less than two months to see whether Hogan can maintain his bipartisan voting coalition or if Jealous can turn out enough progressives to make up the difference.”

Democrats have about a 2-to-1 registration advantage over Republicans in the state, and Mr. Hogan will be bucking history if he wins re-election, as Maryland has not re-elected a Republican governor since the 1950s.

But Mr. Jealous had just a 10-point lead over Mr. Hogan among Democrats in the poll, 48 percent to 38 percent.

Mr. Hogan, meanwhile, had the support of 91 percent of Republicans, compared to just 1 percent for Mr. Jealous. Fifty-seven percent of independents also said they support Mr. Hogan, compared to 17 percent for Mr. Jealous.

Mr. Jealous has campaigned on unabashedly liberal policies like Medicare-for-all and marijuana legalization, and his campaign is banking that an anti-Trump backlash will energize the Democrats who might have stayed home in 2014 when Mr. Hogan scored a massive upset over then-Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.

But 60 percent of likely voters said their opinions about the president will have either no effect or little effect on their choice for governor.

By a 43-point margin, voters also said they have more confidence in Mr. Hogan to handle the economy and job creation the most important issues in determining who they will support according to the poll compared to Mr. Jealous.

Voters also sided with Mr. Hogan over Mr. Jealous by double-digit margins on who they have more confidence in to handle education and health care.

The survey was conducted from Sept. 11-16. The margin of error for the 472 adults identified as likely to vote was plus or minus 4.5 percent.

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