Poll: Democrats lead in statewide Md. races

A poll finds that Democrats are leading in all four statewide races in Maryland ahead of November’s election.

The Goucher College poll finds Democrat Wes Moore leads Republican Dan Cox, 53% to 31%, with 9% undecided, 4% favoring Libertarian candidate David Lasher and 2% favoring the Green Party’s Nancy Wallace.

The poll also found that voters are “largely set” on the governor’s race: 69% of likely voters who chose a candidate said they are “set on this candidate,” while 28% said they could change their minds.

The numbers come at a time when Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s approval numbers are still solidly positive; indeed, his 62% approval rating in the Goucher poll includes higher approval from Democrats (64%) than Republicans (58%).

Meanwhile, 53% of those polled said they’d vote for Democrat Anthony Brown for attorney general; 31% said they’d vote for Republican Michael Anthony Peroutka, with 15% undecided.

In the state comptroller’s race, Democratic nominee Brooke Lierman leads Republican Barry Glassman, 48% to 35%.

And U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, also a Democrat, leads Republican challenger Chris Chaffee, 56% to 33%.

“The Democratic ticket is in a strong position to sweep the statewide contests this cycle,” Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College, said in a statement.

“The Democratic nominee Wes Moore is viewed favorably by a majority of state voters, and perceptions of his mix of progressive and moderate politics aligns with how many Maryland voters view themselves. Dan Cox’s endorsement from former President Donald J. Trump and his own political views secured his primary win, but remains at odds with the Democratic and independent voters he needs to build a winning coalition.”

On the issues

The poll found that the economy and taxes, crime and public safety, and public schools and education were the three issues Marylanders were most concerned about.

Regarding those issues:

Marylanders said by a margin of 45% to 39% that the state is headed in the right direction rather than the wrong one; 68% said recent price increases had caused a minor (37%) or major (31%) financial hardship. And by a narrow 45%-42% margin, Marylanders said they had a positive view of the current economic situation.

While 68% agree that “schools should teach students about how racism exists in society and its institutions,” 27% disagree. Also, 30% agree that “critical race theory, commonly referred to as CRT, is currently being taught in Maryland K-12 schools,” while 44% disagree.

A 54% majority agree that “students should be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend public schools,” while 40% disagree. And 69% agree that “parents should have a say over the curriculum or what is taught to students in K-12 schools,” while 26% disagree.

And 46% of those polled said more money should go to address the root causes of crime, such as mental health and drug addiction, while 27% said more money should go to “strengthening the criminal justice system and training law enforcement officers.” Twenty-two percent said more money should go to both.

The poll was conducted Sept. 8 through Sept. 12, and 1,008 Marylanders were polled, 748 of them likely voters who were asked about the races. The margin of error for the full poll was 3.1%; for the likely voters, 3.6%.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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