Maryland Matters sent a few shockwaves throughout Baltimore County this morning when they reported on a poll that Democratic Baltimore County Executive candidate John Olszewski, Jr. had a 19-point lead over GOP nominee Al Redmer, Jr.
A representative from the Olszewski campaign immediately shared the Maryland Matters article on the popular Facebook page “Baltimore County Politics”. The poll showed Olszewski winning 53 to 34 percent. However; Maryland Matters reported that the poll was conducted between Sept. 6 to 11 and that it was a “Democratic Poll” .
Redmer downplayed the poll by releasing a statement on social media.
“In a desperate attempt to generate a decent headline and reinvigorate their dried up donor base the Olszewski campaign released a month old poll that is in no way accurate at the present time. We’ve beaten Olszewski to mail and TV, and our polling shows we have successfully closed the gap in just a few weeks,” Redmer said.
“Our campaign has momentum, which is evident by the half-dozen major endorsements we’ve received over the last three weeks, as well as the voter enthusiasm and financial support we’ve accrued. As we close in on election day our positive message of fixing our schools and making Baltimore County safer and more affordable is resonating with voters, who are rejecting the dangerous Jealous/Olszewski agenda.”
The poll also reported that Olszewski is winning 49 percent to 35 percent “in the traditionally more conservative southeast portion of Baltimore County.” I’m not sure if the “southeast portion” is all of the 6th Legislative District, but Olszewski lost the senate race in the 6th District to current GOP Sen. Johnny Ray Salling 48 to 44 in 2014.
This race will come down to the 6th District. With Gov. Larry Hogan’s performance in 2014 and projected high numbers in 2018, Redmer must win in the Dundalk/Essex area. If Hogan is going to get around 60 percent of the vote countywide, Olszewski is going to need many of those Hogan voters to cast votes for him too. There are plenty of Hogan voters in the 6th District and that is why he is staying away from Ben Jealous.
So what is the truth? Maryland Matters has been known to lean to the left and why are they now reporting on a Democratic poll from September? I do believe that Olszewski was ahead in September, but not by 19 points. Again this was a Democratic poll. I also believe that Redmer has closed the gap with his mailers, television ads and recent endorsements from the Baltimore County Police and Fire unions.
Can the Baltimore Sun or Goucher College conduct an independent poll so we can see how this race truly stands?