With less than two months to go before Election Day, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has increased his already large lead over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous, according to a new poll from Goucher College.
In a survey the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center conducted Tuesday to Sunday of Maryland voters, Hogan led Jealous by 22 percentage points — 54 percent to 32 percent.
About three-fourths of voters said they were set on their candidate, while about one-fourth said they were open to changing their minds.
“The Jealous strategy has been to bolster turnout among progressives, but they’re running the risk of losing the middle of the electorate,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Hughes Center. “If you look at the electorate there’s a significant portion of moderates and centrists. Hogan is capturing them right now. Even moderate Democrats are breaking for Hogan.”
Hogan led Jealous among Republicans (91 percent to 1 percent) and independents (57 percent to 17 percent). Jealous led Hogan among Democrats (48 percent to 38 percent).
Hogan led in every region of the state, including the Democratic stronghold of the Washington suburbs, where 45 percent of respondents preferred him to 40 percent for Jealous.
Voters surveyed said the most important issue of the election for them was the economy and jobs (25 percent), followed by education; racial and social justice issues, and concerns over Republican President Donald Trump (13 percent each).
Voters said they trusted Hogan more than Jealous to handle the state’s biggest issues, including the economy (66 percent to 23 percent); education (51 percent to 36 percent); and health care (51 percent to 35 percent).
The Goucher poll is the largest lead Hogan has held over Jealous. A Gonzales Research poll had Hogan up by 16 points in August and a Washington Post survey had Hogan up by 12 in June.
Goucher also polled the statewide races for U.S Senate and Maryland attorney general.
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat, led his Republican challenger Tony Campbell, 56 percent to 17 percent. Independent Neal Simon had 8 percent.
Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, led his Republican challenger Craig Wolf, 58 percent to 26 percent.
The poll of 831 Marylanders had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.
This story was featured in The Sun's Alexa Flash Briefing on Sept. 19, 2018.