With 27 days until the Nov. 6 general election, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker returned to Prince George’s County on Wednesday to urge Maryland Democrats to support Ben Jealous in his bid for governor.
Booker, who stumped for Jealous in Hyattsville in April to discuss criminal justice reform, said the fact Democrats outnumber Republicans in Maryland by a 2-to-1 ratio should ensure victory the former NAACP president.
“We’ve got to push out the message because Ben has all the votes he needs,” Booker said to dozens of rousing supporters inside a warm Cornerstone Grill and Loft in College Park. “It’s not a close race. We’ve got to motivate people to get to the polls.”
Although the state’s Democratic base remains large, a poll released early Wednesday shows Republican Gov. Larry Hogan with a double-digit lead.
According to the poll from Gonzales Research & Media Services of Arnold, Maryland, Hogan garnered 54 percent of likely voters to support him. Jealous received the same 36 percent figure in the firm’s previous poll in August.
On Wednesday, the poll shows 59 percent of Democrats “have a favorable opinion” of Hogan and that 52 percent of unaffiliated voters support the incumbent, compared to 25 percent for Jealous.
The poll mirrors two others conducted by Goucher College and Mason-Dixon that also showed Hogan with a double-digit lead.
“Every single general election poll has shown the depth and breadth of Gov. Hogan’s bipartisan coalition of supporters,” said Hogan campaign spokesman Scott Sloofman. “It goes to show that Gov. Hogan’s results-oriented focus on Maryland is what votes are yearning for in this era of political division.”
Jealous remains optimistic with his vision that includes providing health care for all, eliminating student loan debt by eradicating mass incarceration, and improving teacher pay by 29 percent.
He also stressed that a second term for Hogan would continue to decrease the state’s public school national rankings, limit health care for thousands of residents and undermine support for protecting immigrants.
“He is running for office to hold us back, to pull us back [and] to keep us from moving forward,” Jealous said. “He wants the future to come slow. I say, ‘Let’s band together and make it faster.'”
As for Wednesday’s poll, Jealous said in a brief interview before he left College Park that his campaign would succeed just like it did in the June primary, when polls showed him trailing Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III.
“We will defy every poll, we’ll defy every pundit,” Jealous said. “We’ve shown that we can do it. We’ve just got to do it, again.”
One Jealous devotee, Cheverly Councilman Julian Ivey, said Jealous wouldn’t cater to the concerns of longtime politicians in Annapolis.
“Ben Jealous is a grass-roots organizer,” said Ivey, 23, who’s running unopposed as a state delegate for District 47A. “He’s somebody who’s going to fight for young people. He’s going to fight for middle-aged people and older individuals. On day one, he’s going to fight for us and never look back.”