Dan Cox, a Republican state legislator running for governor in Maryland with Donald Trump’s support, is losing to Democratic nominee and anti-poverty activist Wes Moore by 32 percent in a new survey from The Washington Post. In other words, it looks like it’ll be a blowout, with Dems prevailing.
The survey is from the Post and the Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement at The University of Maryland. Among registered voters, 60 percent went with Moore, and just 28 percent selected Cox, while nine percent indicated they were undecided. Although Maryland has leaned heavily towards the Democrats in recent presidential elections, outcomes at the statewide election level for the midterms have proven less certain. The outgoing governor is Larry Hogan, a Republican who served two terms and has overwhelming levels of public approval in the state. In the new Post polling, a full 73 percent of registered voters approved of the job Hogan is doing. An official in Hogan’s administration, Kelly Schulz, ran in Maryland’s Republican primary for governor this year, but Trump threw his support behind Cox before the primary concluded — potentially sinking GOP chances in the state.
If Schulz won, her association with Hogan clearly could have boosted Republican chances. Among Maryland Democrats, 70 percent approved of Hogan’s job performance in the new polling, something obviously rare in today’s highly polarized political environment. Yet, Trump went with Cox, who has expressly opposed Hogan while in office. Cox even pushed impeaching Hogan. There’s a clear difference in sides here within the GOP, as Hogan has expressed opposition to Trump — which really shouldn’t be such a high bar according to any reasonable historical standards — while Cox is an election denier. In voters’ opinions of the candidates on an individual level, Cox is (as could be expected) polling way behind Moore. For Moore, 51 percent expressed a favorable view, with 17 percent sharing an unfavorable one. Just 28 percent shared a favorable view of Cox, whose background also includes opposition to COVID-19 restrictions, while 41 percent expressed a negative view of the Republican contender. The support just isn’t there.
Notably, Moore would be the first Black governor of Maryland assuming there aren’t any seismic shake-ups in the race and he wins this November, and nearly a majority of voters expressed interest in Moore making history accordingly. A full 44 percent said it was somewhat or very important for Moore to become the first Black governor in the state, a state where the U.S. Census Bureau says nearly one-third of residents are Black. A winning margin in Maryland for Moore along the lines of what this poll shows isn’t incomprehensible or without precedent. In 2020, Biden nabbed the state, where registered Democrats outnumber those registered with the Republican Party, with a colossal winning margin of more than 33 percent.