Poll highlighted in Annapolis Patch
By: Deb Belt
June 11, 2018
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has 71 percent approval from all voters in the mostly Democratic state as he officially begins his campaign for re-election. A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll released June 5 shows the governor with broad popularity as he gets ready to fend off the winner of a crowded Democratic field to be selected in the June 26 primary.
Those candidates include Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker III, former NAACP president Ben Jealous, state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., attorney James Shea, tech entrepreneur Alec Ross, former Michelle Obama aide Krishanti Vignarajah, and Valerie Ervin, who will be listed on the ballot as the running mate for the Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who died last month. Baker, Jealous and Ervin are seeking to become the state's first African-American governor.
A new poll released Sunday performed by The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore shows Baker and Jealous lead the Democratic race, both with 16 percent of the vote. About 25 percent of the Democratic voters polled said they plan to cast their ballot for Hogan in November.
"Hogan is still very much the man to beat in this race. … There's a tall order for whoever the nominee is," Roger Hartley, dean of the University of Baltimore's College of Public Affairs, told the Sun.
Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford on Saturday launched their re-election campaign in Annapolis in front of an estimated crowd of 1,000.
"Unlike Washington, where nobody gets along and where nothing ever seems to get done, here in Maryland, we have chosen a different path, and we're setting an example for the rest of the nation," Hogan said. "President Kennedy once said: 'Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.' That principle has guided our administration over the past four years, and we have consistently achieved real bipartisan, common sense solutions to the serious problems that face us."
Nearly two-thirds of Maryland Democrats approve of Hogan's job performance, the Post poll says. His 71 percent job-approval rating matches his previous record high. He has at least a 10 point lead over every Democrat in the race.
"The thing that I was most struck by . . . is just how strong the support is and how diverse the support is for Hogan, regardless of who the opponent is," said Michael J. Hanmer with the University of Maryland's Center for American Politics and Citizenship, in The Post story.
In his speech Saturday, Gov. Hogan said that when he took office four years ago two-thirds of Marylanders thought the state was heading in the wrong direction. But two-thirds of Maryland residents now think the state is heading in the right direction.
"I don't know much about these nine candidates running for governor, but one thing I do know is that every single one of them wants to take Maryland in a completely different direction. And that's really what this election is all about," Hogan said. "Do we want to take Maryland backwards and return to the failed policies of the past? Or do you want us to keep making progress and continue changing Maryland for the better for another four years? I promise that Lt. Governor Rutherford and I and our entire team will spend the next four years continuing to work hard for all of you."
Hogan also touted four straight balanced budgets with no new taxes and by his estimate a total of $1.2 billion in tax, toll, and fee relief. Among the accomplishments he listed are a gain of nearly 100,000 jobs, record funding for K-12 education, funding to preserve the Chesapeake Bay, and money for roads, bridges, and new public transit projects across the state.
In conjunction with the Hogan-Rutherford campaign launch rally, the campaign released a new web video, "Four More Years," that introduced the governor to the crowd.