A majority of Democrats and Republicans in Maryland still have no idea who they will vote for in a primary election that is nearly 60 days away, according to a poll conducted by St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
On the Democratic side, the poll found that Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown continues to lead the pack of primary competitors which include Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Del. Heather R. Mizeur, D-Montgomery.
The poll found that 54 percent of those surveyed said they remained undecided while 27 percent said they would vote for Brown compared to 11 percent for Gansler and 8 percent who favored Mizeur.
The poll of 954 registered Maryland voters was conducted April 10-13.
Earlier this month, Gansler released the results of an internal poll that he said showed he narrowed the gap to single digits between himself and Brown.
In the internal poll, 31 percent of people who responded said they favored Brown compared to 22 percent for Gansler, with 40 percent still undecided.
A spokeswoman for the Gansler campaign attributed the change to voter reaction to Brown’s roll related to the state’s health benefit exchange.
Susan Grogan, a political science professor who leads the Maryland Poll at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, said it is not clear that the site is having an impact on the race.
While the poll did not survey specifically on Brown’s roll related to the health benefit site, it did ask about whether those surveyed felt the Affordable Care Act had affected their lives. About 51 percent of those who responded said they did not feel that it had affected themselves or their families.
“The point here is that the problems with the Maryland Health Care exchange have not seemed to have negatively impacted Marylander’s views of the ACA or Anthony Brown. That is, it is not clear at all that ‘the dynamics of the race have changed. Voters are abandoning Brown, while opinions of Gansler are improving as voters learn more about his record. Momentum is shifting to Gansler,’” Grogan wrote in an email, quoting a line from Gansler’s own poll.
Maryland Republicans are also largely undecided, according to the poll conducted by Grogan and sophomore students at the college.
More than two-thirds of Maryland Republicans said they remain undecided. Larry Hogan is the front-runner with 16 percent compared to Harford County Executive David Craig with fewer than 8 percent.
Neither Charles Lollar nor Del. Ronald A. George, R-Anne Arundel, “is a credible candidate, with less than 4 percent each at this late stage in the race.”
The Democratic and Republican Primary Elections are scheduled for June 24.