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Schuh leads Johnson in Anne Arundel poll

George Johnson, left, and Del. Steve Schuh.
George Johnson, left, and Del. Steve Schuh. (File Photos)

A new poll shows Republican Steve Schuh has a significant lead over Democrat George F. Johnson IV in the Anne Arundel County executive race.

In a poll of 411 county residents conducted by Anne Arundel Community College, Schuh, a state delegate, had 40 percent support compared to 26 percent for Johnson, a former county sheriff. Nearly one-third of voters were undecided.

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Schuh's campaign team said the college's poll -- the only public poll in the race so far -- matches their internal polling.

"These results are very encouraging, and I will continue working hard in the final days of this campaign to reach undecided voters," Schuh said in a statement Friday.

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Michael Matthews, a spokeswoman for Johnson, said: "The only poll that matters is the one on Nov. 4 with the voters."

Schuh's supporters cited their reasons for choosing him as taxes (35 percent), experience (11 percent), ethics and integrity (11 percent) and party affiliation (10) percent.

Johnson's supporters said they picked him because of party affiliation (18 percent), education (16 percent), experience (16 percent) and taxes (10 percent).

Dan Nataf, a political science professor who conducted the poll, said voters' focus on high taxes and a still-struggling economy is benefiting Republican candidates such as Schuh.

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"Those two things are making it really hard for Democrats to appeal to voters ...The voters are more reactive to a feeling that they're not getting their money's worth out of government," said Nataf, who is director of the college's Center for the Study of Local Issues.

Schuh and Johnson are vying for the right to replace County Executive Laura Neuman, who was appointed to the job in February 2013 and who lost to Schuh in the Republican primary.

Neuman was appointed after the resignation of John R. Leopold following his criminal conviction of misconduct in office.

The college also asked residents about their choice for governor. Republican Larry Hogan had a commanding lead over Democrat Anthony G. Brown, 51 percent to 22 percent. About 24 percent of voters are undecided.

Anne Arundel County's voter registration favors Democrats, but county voters have a long history of voting for Republican gubernatorial and presidential candidates.

Despite the strong support for Hogan, when respondents were asked to predict the winner of the gubernatorial race, 53 percent thought Brown would win and 23 percent thought Hogan would win.

The poll, which was released publicly on Friday, was conducted by telephone between Oct. 13 and Oct. 16. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.8 percent.

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