Chelsea Manning draws little attention in Md. Senate race

WASHINGTON — Democratic Maryland Senator Ben Cardin is running for a third term in office this year, and while he’ll be joined by several other names on the ballot, most of the other candidates for office lack any type of name recognition that will resonate with voters at a statewide level — except one.

More than a few eyebrows were raised when Chelsea Manning put out a slickly produced video announcing her run for a U.S. Senate seat in Maryland, where the activist has lived since her release from a military prison. But a new poll out suggests that few Democrats would blink as they skipped right past Manning’s name on the ballot in order to re-elect Cardin instead.

The Goucher College poll has Cardin with a 61-17 lead over Manning if the race were held today.

“Ben Cardin is a really popular, long-term Senator,” said Mileah Kromer, the polling director at the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center.

In fact, nearly two-thirds of Maryland Democrats said they have a positive view of Cardin. The same could not be said for Manning.

In fact, twice as many Democrats have an unfavorable view of Manning than have a favorable view (37-to-19), though even more (44 percent) don’t have any opinion. And Kromer noted that Manning doesn’t seem to be doing much to introduce herself to Maryland voters either.

Manning “hasn’t really run what you would call a traditionally statewide campaign here in Maryland,” said Kromer. “I don’t know if there’s a lot of door knocking going on, or a lot of forum participating going on, or even engagement with the local media.”

Contrast that with Cardin, “who has a strong favorability rating,” and Kromer said it’s clear why the two-term incumbent seems to be well on his way to a third term.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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