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Poll Shows Gov. Hogan Popular, but Faces Competition in 2018

Mon, Oct 16, 2017

A recent Mason-Dixon polls show a significant majority of Maryland voters like Republican governor Larry Hogan and have a positive opinion about his performance in office. However, despite these typically reliable indicators of an incumbent's political strength, Hogan's party affiliation makes his reelection far from certain.

Statewide, 62% of voters say their personal view of Hogan is "favorable" and 61% "approve" of the job he is doing. His job rating is relatively strong across partisan lines, with 83% of Republicans, 59% of independents and even 49% of Democrats saying they approve of his performance. But when matched up against potential Democratic challengers, only one of whom is even recognized by at least half of the state's voters, his support drops below 50% in every matchup. Although about half of Maryland Democrats approve of Hogan's job performance, the percentage of those who say they will actually vote for him is only about 25% on average.

Among the currently announced Democratic candidates, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker is clearly the strongest contender. In a match-up among Democrats who regularly vote in party primaries, Baker tops the field with 28%, followed by Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz at 11% and former NAACP president Ben Jealous getting 10%.

The other candidates trail in the low single digits and a significant 46% are undecided. When matched-up in a general election against Hogan, Baker only trails the incumbent by 7-points (46%-39%). 

While Hogan holds wider leads over the remaining major Democratic challengers, he still fails to top the 50% mark in any of those match-ups. Statewide. Hogan leads Kamenetz (48%-35%), Jealous (49%-33%) and Richard Madaleno (49%-30%) but pulls less than half the vote despite having far more statewide name recognition.

The poll was conducted September 27 through September 30, 2017. A total of 625 registered Maryland voters were interviewed statewide by telephone. All said they regularly vote in state elections. The poll has a 4 percentage-point margin of error.