Rushern Baker Second Among Dem Governor Candidates: Poll

**FILE** Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (left), standing with state Sen. Ulysses Currie, declares his candidacy for Maryland governor at a June 29 barbecue in Mitchellville. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (left), standing with state Sen. Ulysses Currie, declares his candidacy for Maryland governor at a June 29 barbecue in Mitchellville. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III has traveled across Maryland to convince fellow Democrats he’s the best choice for governor in the June 2018 primary election.

However, a new poll released Tuesday by Goucher College suggested he still has some work to do.

According to the Towson school’s poll, about 28 percent of Democratic voters surveyed “would consider” voting for former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, even though Gansler decided Sept. 18 to withdraw his name from the gubernatorial race.

The results show Baker second at 21 percent, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamentz third at 17 percent and former NAACP President Ben Jealous fourth at 14 percent.

The poll, which surveyed about 324 Democratic voters between Sept. 14-18, shows 44 percent of Democratic voters remain undecided.

“Polls can be helpful, but my focus remains on earning the support of Maryland voters by sharing my story and vision for the state,” Baker said of the poll in a statement Tuesday. “Think about the greatest challenges we face as a state and ask the question: has our governor punted on or confronted those issues? I’m running for governor because I don’t believe you lead by doing only what’s easy. I believe you must have the courage to do what’s right.”

Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher, said the numbers are too preliminary to draw conclusions.

“Nothing means a thing right now,” she said in an interview. “We have a wide-open Democratic primary. People are going to be able to position themselves in the next couple of months.”

The college released a poll Monday that shows Republican Gov. Larry Hogan still maintains a high approval rating.

According to the poll that surveyed 671 voters, 62 percent approve of Hogan’s job as governor, compared to 16 percent disapproval and another 20 percent who say they don’t know.

The poll states Hogan has maintained an approval rating above 60 percent since February 2016.

One of the key concerns among Marylanders: economics that focus on jobs, taxes and budget. About 24 percent rated that the top priority with education second at 14 percent.

In addition, 55 percent say Maryland “is heading in the right direction.”

“Marylanders continue to say the economy and jobs is their most important issue,” Kromer said. “Marylanders view Larry Hogan as a moderate. The more moderate he can appear, the better among Maryland Democrats he can do.”

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About William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer 335 Articles
I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com