PoliticsWilliam J. Ford

Hogan Maintains Lead over Jealous Down the Stretch: Poll

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan maintains a double-digit lead over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous — as well as a job approval rating of over 70 percent — as Election Day draws nearer, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The Gonzales Research & Media Services’ poll found that 54 percent of likely voters support Hogan in next month’s general election, compared to 36 percent for Jealous. The numbers were virtually unchanged from an August poll conducted by Arnold, Maryland-based Gonzales.

The poll mirrors two others conducted by Goucher College and Mason-Dixon, which also showed the Republican governor with a double-digit lead.

“It’s not yet quite time to call in the Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and extinguish the campfire, but the hunt’s end is clearly drawing nigh,” Gonzales wrote in the poll. “Since his surprisingly imposing victory in the June Democratic primary, first-time candidate Ben Jealous’ efforts to create electoral enthusiasm beyond his progressive base have produced bupkis.”

However, Gonzales notes “it will be interesting to see” if voters would choose Jealous after the U.S. Senate voted Saturday to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Although Democrats outnumber Republicans in Maryland 2 to 1, poll figures show Hogan could become the state’s first Republican governor to win a second term in 64 years.

The poll, which surveyed 806 registered voters between Oct. 1-6, showed 67 percent Democrats believe Hogan “is doing a good job in Annapolis.”

In comparison, about 36 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Jealous. Among the Democratic base, it increases to 51 percent and higher at 65 percent for Black voters.

Nearly all registered GOP voters stand with Hogan at 91 percent. Unaffiliated voters support Hogan by 52 percent, compared to Jealous at 25 percent.

More than 50 percent of voters age 55 and younger and those older than 55 would support Hogan, according to the poll. About 8 percent remain undecided.

Jealous does have support in the majority Black jurisdictions of Prince George’s County and Baltimore City. He’s tied with Hogan at 46 percent in Montgomery County.

With the exception of trailing by one percentage point in Charles County, voters everywhere else in the state would choose Hogan.

The poll, which also assessed the job approval of President Donald Trump and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh’s race against Republican challenger Craig Wolf, has a margin of error of plus/minus 3.5 percentage points.

With less than four weeks until the Nov. 6 general election, the campaigns continue to criticize one another.

Jealous and his supporters blasted Hogan for a recent television ad they say pokes fun at Jealous’ stutter.

“I’ve overcome stigma and bullying about my stutter throughout my entire life, and I’ve tried my best to never let it get in the way of speaking up for positive change,” Jealous said in a statement Tuesday. “I’m not intimidated when Larry Hogan mocks me. I’ve faced down bullies before, but I want to set an example for kids struggling to find their voice that we can never give in to those who opt for negativity instead of hope.”

Hogan campaign spokesman Scott Sloofman downplayed the Jealous camp’s complaints, pointing out what he says are unforced errors by Jealous.

“Whether it was dropping the f-bomb to a reporter, saying he is running for governor of Virginia or promising to raise taxes, Mr. Jealous can’t simply disown his words every time he gets in trouble with voters,” Sloofman said in a statement Tuesday.

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

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

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