HOGAN MAINTAINS WIDE LEAD, POLL FINDS: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan maintains a commanding 22 point lead — 54% to 32% — over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous in a statewide Goucher College poll taken last week. The sample size was small — only 472 likely voters — but it shows extraordinary dominance by Hogan in one of the most Democratic states in the union, with only 9% of voters undecided in the race. The poll’s margin of error is 4.5%, reports Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.
- Nine percent of voters surveyed were undecided, while Libertarian Shawn Quinn and Green Party candidate Ian Schlakman each polled at 1%. About three-fourths of voters said they were set on their candidate, while about one-fourth said they were open to changing their minds, Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports.
- “The number of people who have their minds changeable or who haven’t decided in the final weeks is relatively small,” said Todd Eberly, a political science professor at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. “In a close race, like we had nationally in 2016, that relatively small number of people can impact the outcome. When the race isn’t close, it becomes a bit harder.” And 2½ months after the Democratic primary, Jealous still hasn’t gained traction with key parts of the electorate, Danielle Gaines writes in Maryland Matters.
- Hogan’s lead over Jealous is the likely result of a relentless onslaught of advertising since June against the Democratic Party champion. The widening lead also comes at a time when Marylanders appear to connect to some of Jealous proposals even as they say they support his Republican opponent, reports Bryan Sears in the Daily Record.
- While other Democrats in the state have wide margins of support, Jealous hasn’t defined himself with the electorate, Mileah Kromer of the Goucher Poll said. “On the other hand, the Republican Governors Association as well as the Hogan campaign, have certainly put a lot of effort into defining him.” She said that while the Jealous campaign may say it can catch up in the seven weeks remaining before the election, it will be tough, Rachel Baye reports for WYPR-FM.
OBAMACARE VS MEDICARE FOR ALL: A new poll finds that slightly more than half of Maryland residents have a favorable view of a single-payer health-care plan, which is a cornerstone of the campaign platform of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous, Rachel Chason and Scott Clement of the Post report. The Goucher College survey also found that more Marylanders would prefer to improve the way the federal Affordable Care Act works in the state than adopt the Medicare-for-All health-care system being pushed by Jealous and other progressives nationwide.
JEALOUS UN-NIXES REPORTER: Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous, in a late-night turnaround, has backed off his veto of a western Maryland newspaper’s statehouse reporter as a panelist for his sole debate with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, Michael Dresser of the Sun reports. Jealous dropped his strike of Tamela Baker of The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown from the panel Tuesday night, just hours after The Baltimore Sun said it was reconsidering its participation in the questioning as a result of the veto.
- The Jealous campaign blamed “the entire debate panel selection process” for the temporary ban and said Baker was welcome to participate, Andrew Schotz reports for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. The campaign of Hogan, a Republican, responded with a statement accusing the Jealous campaign of trying to “dodge accountability.”
- Bryan Sears of the Daily Record writes that Kevin Harris, a senior adviser to Jealous, said in a statement, “The Jealous campaign does not have a problem with Tamela Baker being on the debate panel,” said Harris. “We have a problem with the entire debate panel selection process, which was severely limited by the Hogan campaign’s unwillingness to simply participate in additional debates…”
LAZARICK ON JEALOUS SLAM: What does Len Lazarick think about his MarylandReporter.com being labeled “a right-wing blog that’s funded by right-wing donors that like to scare people” by Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ben Jealous? His commentary details the situation.
JUDGE PUTS KIBOSH ON BREAD & ROSES INJUNCTION: Cameron Dodd of the Frederick News-Post reports that a federal judge has likely put an end to a Maryland man’s plan to run against U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin as a candidate with a new state socialist political party. Jerome Segal’s request for a preliminary injunction in his case against the State Board of Elections was denied Tuesday. Segal, who lost the Democratic primary in June, had asked the court to compel the board to reconsider his petition for candidacy representing the newly founded Bread and Roses Party.
CONSERVATION VOTERS RELEASES SCORECARD: By the Maryland League of Conservation Voters’ own estimate, the 2018 General Assembly session “was a complicated year for the environment.” Which undoubtedly made evaluating the legislature’s 188 members a difficult task for the green group this year. Nevertheless, the LCV last week released its annual legislative scorecard – “just in time” for the election, the organization said.
WOLF ADS AIRING: In a political notes column, Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters kicks off by writing about political ads being aired by Craig Wolf, the Republican who is hoping to unseat Attorney General Brian Frosh. He also mentions a reform group backing Democratic governor-hopeful Ben Jealous, Ellen Sauerbrey’s backing of Al Redmer for Baltimore County exec and the court defeat of the Bread and Roses Party.
FLOREEN FUNDING CHALLENGED: A Gaithersburg resident has filed a complaint with the state elections board, alleging a candidate for Montgomery County executive violated campaign finance laws when her campaign committee accepted multiple corporate donations from entities sharing the same addresses, Jennifer Barrios of the Post reports. In the complaint, Kenneth Myers alleged Nancy Floreen, who is making an independent bid for the county’s top office, “has accepted multiple contributions from entities that are likely affiliated as a matter of law, greatly exceeding the permissible contribution limits.”
- Surrounded by progressive advocates at a Tuesday press conference in Gaithersburg, Myers said he wants to force Floreen to return thousands of dollars in developer donations that he believes run afoul of state contribution limits, Bethany Rodgers of Bethesda Beat reports.
SUING PROSECUTORS CALLED A TOUGH CHALLENGE: Jessica Anderson of the Sun reports that some legal experts are saying that the two women suing Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger and two prosecutors over their alleged failure to investigate sexual assault cases face an uphill battle to overcome special immunity given to prosecutors. “When it comes to suing a prosecutor, there’s a special challenge,” said David Jaros, a University of Baltimore School of Law professor. “They have absolute immunity.”
ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST PG COUNCILMAN: The Prince George’s County Republican Party has filed an ethics complaint against County Councilman Obie Patterson, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters writes. According to the complaint, a member of Patterson’s county government staff used a government email address and listserv to distribute an invitation to a reception featuring Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous (D).
- Shirley Anglin, who works as a citizen-services specialist in Patterson’s office, sent the invitation last Friday afternoon from her county government email address. The complaint, filed with the county’s Office of Ethics and Accountability, says the email violated a section of the Prince George’s County code of ethics that prohibits county employees from engaging in political activity during work hours, Rachel Chason of the Post reports.