Former lieutenant governor Anthony G. Brown has a wide lead over lesser known opponents in the contest for Maryland's 4th Congressional District, according to poll summary released by his campaign Monday -- the first such survey made public in the crowded race for the Prince George's County-based district.
Brown, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor last year, has support from 42 percent of respondents in the poll, compared with 20 percent for former Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey and 5 percent or less for the other candidates.
Nearly three in 10 Democrats remain undecided, the poll said.
The Ivey campaign dismissed the results of Brown's poll and released their own internal survey, in response, that showed the race closer.
"That's the same thing Brown told voters last year, and Hogan crushed him just a few months ago," Ivey campaign manager Jesse Hassinger said in a statement. "Our internal poll shows that this race is neck-and-neck between Glenn and Brown, and Brown just spent nearly $20 million in an epic loss."
The Ivey campaign's poll puts Brown at 33 percent and Ivey just 6 percentage points behind, at 27 percent.
Brown's poll was conducted by Fred Yang -- a well-known Washington-based consultant with years of experience in Maryland -- in late June. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points. Ivey's poll was conducted by Ron Lester, who has also counted many Marylanders as clients.
After eight years as Gov. Martin O'Malley's lieutenant in Annapolis, Brown has better name recognition than any of the the other candidates -- 93 percent compared to 67 percent for Ivey -- the Brown poll found. That poll found that 58 percent of Democrats who know Brown have a positive impression, compared with 13 percent who have a negative impression.
Ivey's campaign did not release information about name recognition.
Campaigns only release a sliver of their internal polling and so the results made public Monday are an incomplete picture. With nearly a third of voters undecided in both polls, it's also a fluid picture.
Still, the Brown poll indicates strong support for Brown, which explains why his campaign was one of the first in the state to release any polling data at all. Ivey's campaign said that when voters are reminded of their candidate's time as State's Attorney, he takes the lead.
Brown, Ivey and several others are running to replace Rep. Donna F. Edwards, the Prince George's County Democrat who is seeking the Senate seat that will be left open in 2017 by retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. Dels. Dereck E. Davis, Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk and former County Council member Ingrid M. Turner are also seeking the Democratic nomination.
Brown, who briefly considered running for the Senate seat, decided against another statewide campaign after losing unexpectedly to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in November.
Observers will get another sense of the state of the race later this month when both campaigns report how much they raised in political cash during the second quarter. Those reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on July 15.
The 4th District is based in Prince George's County but, since the 2011 redistricting, it also includes portions of Anne Arundel County.