In an early gauge into next year’s Maryland gubernatorial primary race, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has a nearly 2-to-1 advantage over state Attorney General Doug Gansler, according to a just released poll.
The Gonzales Research poll had 41 percent siding with Brown in a three-way race in the Democratic primary, with 21 percent going with Gansler. Del. Heath Mizeur polled at 5 percent with a third of Democrats still undecided.
The poll reflects that one factor in the wide gap is name recognition among the candidates. Just 18 percent of likely primary voters did not recognize Brown's name. This compares to 37 percent for Gansler and 79 percent for Mizeur.
While the results are favorable for Brown, it comes at a time when his boss – Gov. Martin O’Malley – had his approval rating dip below 50 percent for the first time in three years.
According to the poll, O’Malley’s approval rating is now at 48 percent, compared to 54 percent in January.
Gonzales believes that O’Malley’s popularity dip can be attributed to the political capital he used during the past General Assembly session in Annapolis. The biggest issue in which voters disagreed with O’Malley on was the gas tax, of which only 21 percent of those polled approved.
This differs on other hot-button issues, including the repeal of the death penalty, in which 49 percent approved and 41 percent disapproved. On O’Malley’s tougher gun control legislation, 58 percent of those polled approved compared to 40 percent who disapproved.
In the Democratic race for attorney general, Del. Jon Cardin polled at 25% support compared to 13 percent for Sen. Brian Frosh, 8 percent for Del. Aisha Braveboy and 5 percent for Del. Bill Frick. However, about half of voters are still undecided, according to the poll.
The poll surveyed 819 likely voters between Oct. 1 and 14. The margin of error is 3.5 percent. The polls also included an oversampling of 403 Democratic likely voters of the June 2014 primary. There is a margin of error of 5 percent in the primary results.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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