New Goucher Poll Has Hogan Up Big; Wolf and Campbell Down Big

A new poll shows Gov. Hogan up by 22 points
A new Goucher poll shows Gov. Larry Hogan with a 22-point lead over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous. The Republican governor has 54 percent compared to Jealous’ 34 percent. Green party nominee Ian Schlakman and Libertarian candidate Shawn Quinn both have one percent of the vote. Only nine percent are undecided with less than seven weeks until Election Day. This poll result is not a shocker with Hogan’s popularity and with Jealous’ inexperience and blunders.

The poll also reveals that Democratic Attorney Gen. Brian Frosh has a commanding 58 to 26 percent lead over Republican Craig Wolf, with 12 percent undecided. I am very disappointed to hear that result. With Wolf running a strong campaign, having the endorsement of Hogan and the unpopularity of Frosh; I thought Wolf would be in striking distance of Frosh. If Wolf was only down 10 to 15 points, then he could make a run in the final weeks. I am afraid that 32 points might be too insurmountable for Wolf.

In addition to the Governor and Attorney General races, the poll was conducted for the U.S. Senate race here in Maryland. Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin was shown with a 56 to 17 percent lead over Republican Tony Campbell. Independent candidate Neal Simon was listed with eight percent of the vote. There were 14 percent undecided and the Libertarian candidate Arvin Vohra was recorded with one percent of the vote.

If you add up Campbell and Simon’s numbers it would show Cardin winning 56 to 25, which is almost identical to Frosh beating Wolf 58 to 26. So the GOP’s fear of Simon cutting into Campbell’s votes are true, but this splitting of the vote would be more significant if Cardin had numbers around 36, Campbell had 27 and Simon had 18 percent.

The biggest takeaway from the Senate and Attorney General races is that Hogan’s coattails are not transferring over in these races. Especially for Craig Wolf who has been spending and raising money. I am hoping that GOP candidates in the state Senate and House of Delegate races have better luck benefiting from those Hogan coattails.

Thanks to Goucher College for conducting the poll. By the way, when will a Baltimore County Executive race poll be conducted?

My Assessment of Maryland Matters’ Assessment of Delegate Races -Part 3

Maryland Matters [MM] had their assessments of the most competitive House of Delegate races two weeks ago. I wrote previous blogs where I agreed with some their assessment and then wrote a blog where I explained why I disagreed with their analysis on other races which I do not believe will be competitive.
Today I am going to explain competitive races that MM is underestimating.

District 12
Democratic Delegates Eric Ebersole and Terri Hill are seeking re-election in this eastern Howard County and western Baltimore County split district.
Del. Clarence Lam is seeking the vacant state senate seat so Democrat Jessica Feldmark is going after Lam’s old seat. But the Republican ticket in District 12 is strong. I heard from an inside source that Republican challenger Melanie Harris is beating Feldmark for the final delegate seat in a poll. Republicans Bob Cockey and Michael Russell (who worked as my intern) also believe they can gain traction in this moderate district.
The poll showed that Ebersole and Hill have name ID, but both Democrats have a horrible liberal voting record for a moderate district. Three different GOP House candidates won the Baltimore County portion of the district in 2014 but lost in Howard County, which is about 2/3 of the district. If the GOP perform better in Howard County, I predict they will pick up at least one seat and maybe more.

District 32

This northwest Anne Arundel County district is very similar to District 32 where Gov. Larry Hogan won it in 2014 (and is expected to win it again in 2018) and some of the liberal voting records of the delegates might not go too well with moderate voters.
One Democratic delegate Pam Beidle is going after a vacant senate seat and Del. Mark Chang is seeking re-election as delegate. Del. Ted Sophocleus sadly passed away last year. This leaves two open seats in the House. Republican challengers Mark Bailey, Patty Ewing and Tim Walters have all been endorsed by Hogan and I would not be shocked if the GOP picks up a seat or two in 32.

Other Districts
There is a possibility for the GOP in District 14 and District 15 in Montgomery County. I am not sure, but I think Gov. Hogan won both districts and the GOP slate ran tough races in 2014. District 14 and 15 may not go red but they could still be races to watch. Democratic Del. Michael Jackson in District 27B won his race by five percentage points in 2014 and is being challenged by a strong candidate in Michael Thomas. There is even a chance that Del. Steve Lafferty in District 42A could be in trouble as he is facing GOP candidate Stephen McIntire. Hogan also won District 42A in 2014.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog about the senate races, Hogan popularity helps all Republicans. If the governor continues to do well across the state, it will only help candidates like Thomas, McIntire and the District 14 & 15 GOP slates.

My Assessment of Maryland Matters’ Assessment of Delegate Races -Part 2

As I mentioned earlier in the week Maryland Matters [MM] had their assessment of the most competitive House of Delegate races two weeks ago. According to MM, there is going to be a blue wave across Maryland in the Delegate races, despite Gov. Larry Hogan’s poll numbers. I wrote on Monday where I agreed with their breakdown and today I will give my opinion where I respectfully disagree. Tomorrow, I will point out competitive races that they missed.

My Disagreement With Maryland Matters
These races would possibly be in play if Gov. Larry Hogan was in trouble and a real blue wave was heading towards Maryland, but most of these races were more than razor thin victories for the GOP in 2014 and I expect those GOP wins to increase more in 2018.

District 2B
Yes I know that GOP Del. Paul D. Corderman was not elected but was appointed to his position about former Del. Brett Wilson became a Circuit Court judge. I am also aware that Democratic challenger Peter E. Perini Sr. has only less than $1,500 compared to Corderman. MM also points out that Donald Trump only won the district by 500 votes, but there are many districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 that will be won by Larry Hogan and other Republicans. Gubernatorial elections have a much more moderate electorate compared to Presidential races. Wilson won by 9 percentage points in 2014 and Corderman should win by more in Washington County.

District 3B
This is ironic because I thought that the Republicans had a shot at taking a seat or two in Frederick County District 3A with Democrats Delegates Carol Krimm and Karen Lewis Young. I will admit that the demographics might have changes too much for the GOP to win in 3A but now MM thinks 3B is in play with GOP incumbent Del. William Folden. I disagree.
Folden won in 2014 by 1,700 votes and he should do better since Republican Craig Giangrande has an opportunity to defeat District 3 Democratic Senator Ron Young or least run a competitive race. If there is a chance for an incumbent delegate to lose in District 3, it is one and/or two Democrats in 3A and not the lone Republican in 3B.

District 8
Since I ran in this race in the GOP primary in northeast Baltimore County, I do not want to comment too much on the race. I like all six gentlemen in this race on both sides of the aisle, but obviously my politics align with the Republican team of the Joes – Cluster, Norman and Boteler and I support all three.

District 9B
Del. Bob Flanagan is looking to get re-elected in a moderate district in Howard County. His Democratic challenger and former Councilwoman Courtney Watson have nearly the same amount of money.
Flanagan won his race by 1,500 votes in 2014. It is true that Watson is a formidable opponent, but Flanagan should be fine.

District 29-B
MM believes that Republican Del. Deb Rey could be in trouble after she narrowly defeated then-Del. John C. Bohanan in 2014 by 76 votes, but Rey is now established in her Southern Maryland district where Gov. Hogan is expected to do well. Now that she is an incumbent in a conservative district, Rey should have a comfortable win.

Next post, I will explain the House races that could flip from one party to another. You guessed it, there are many blue seats that could go red that Maryland Matters missed.