- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and conservative activist Larry Hogan are the early favorites to earn their respective party’s nomination for governor, though a majority of Democrats and Republicans remain undecided on who they will vote for in the June 24 primary election, according to a recent poll conducted by St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
With 27 percent support from 502 polled Democrats, Brown (D) held a clear advantage against Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery), who polled at 11 and 8 percent, respectively. More than 54 percent of Democrats were undecided.
More than 68 percent of the 270 Republicans polled were undecided, but among those who had made up their minds, Hogan — chairman of the conservative group Change Maryland — had more than twice as much support as the next closest candidate with 16 percent. Harford County Executive David Craig (R) came in second with 7.8 percent, while Newburg businessman Charles Lollar and Del. Ron George (R-Anne Arundel) came in tied at a distant third with 3.8 percent.
Neither “Charles Lollar nor Ronald George is a credible candidate, with less than 4 [percent] each at this late stage in the race,” the poll concluded.
A research and teaching project led by St. Mary’s political science professor Susan Grogan, the Maryland Poll was conducted between April 10 and 13 and surveyed 954 registered Maryland voters. Grogan’s sophomore-level American politics class helped design the poll and analyze its results.
The statewide poll also found that 39 percent favor expansion of the Dominion Cove Point liquefied natural gas terminal in Lusby, versus 31 percent who oppose the $3.8 billion project. However, only 31 percent oppose the state’s current moratorium on fracking for natural gas set to expire in August, while 35 percent support it, and 34 percent had no opinion.
The poll also asked respondents who they believed had the best chance of winning the 2016 presidential election.
Two-thirds of Democrats chose Hillary Clinton among five potential candidates, far more than the 10.9 percent who picked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Only 5.8 percent went with Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), less than Vice President Joe Biden (10.3 percent) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (6.3 percent).
Republicans were split between former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (34.4 percent) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (32.2 percent). Fewer picked Sen. Rand Paul (18.9 percent) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (14.5 percent).
Other topics covered in the poll’s 23 questions include minimum wage, the Affordable Care Act, marijuana decriminalization, gun control, affirmative action, global warming and the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
For all results and analysis of the poll, go to www.mpoll.org.