Republican Gov. Larry Hogan leads Democratic challenger Ben Jealous by 15 percentage points with six weeks left to go in the race, according to a new poll released Thursday.
The survey, conducted Monday through Wednesday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, showed Hogan with 52 percent of the vote compared with 37 percent for Jealous. The polling firm described Hogan’s lead as “comfortable.”
Libertarian candidate Shawn Quinn and Green Party nominee Ian Schlakman each garnered 1 percent support, while 9 percent were undecided.
Pollster Brad Coker said the poll shows “a little tightening in the race” after Monday’s debate — the only time the two men have met on stage. Hogan was up by 22 percentage points in a Goucher College poll earlier this month. His average lead has been close to 17 points, according to Real Clear Politics.
“The one consistency you’re seeing is Hogan is above 50 percent in all the polls and Jealous is under 40 percent in the all the polls,” Coker said. “For a Republican in Maryland, that’s impressive.”
Democrats outnumber Republicans in Maryland by about 2-to-1.
Hogan’s support was strongest in Western Maryland, where he polled at 73 percent; the Eastern Shore (69 percent) and Central Maryland (64 percent).
Of the four jurisdictions with the largest voter bases in the state, Hogan led in only one: Baltimore County (62 percent to 30 percent). Jealous led in the other three: Baltimore City (62 percent to 26 percent); Prince George’s County (56 percent to 23 percent); and Montgomery County (49 percent to 41 percent).
Statewide, 68 percent approved of Hogan’s job performance while 23 percent disapproved.
Jealous’ campaign said in a statement the poll shows the Democrat is “narrowing” the race after beginning to run his first TV ads and competing in the debate.
“Jealous' vision is clearly resonating with the voters we need to win on November 6 and we are confident that we can continue to close the gap in the coming weeks and end up on top on Election Day,” said Kevin Harris, a senior adviser to Jealous.
Doug Mayer, deputy campaign manager for Hogan, said the poll shows “what every poll has shown for nearly four years, that Governor Hogan has widespread bipartisan support throughout Maryland.”
The poll of 625 registered Maryland voters had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.